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20 January 2018

Banana Thickshake

The ultimate banana milkshake - thick, creamy and healthy too! I've replicated the flavour of an ice cream banana shake with nutritious ingredients, that make this suitable as a dessert, but even as a breakfast too! It's no secret that blended frozen bananas give an amazing texture to a milkshake - but even the ripest of bananas can lack that rich banana flavour that you might find in a commercially made banana milkshake. That's where dried bananas come in; you can get semi-dried, chewy banana chips, that deliver that nostalgic, intense banana flavour you've been longing for! I also used cashew milk for added creaminess and vanilla extract to replicate that vanilla ice cream flavour.

With only 5 ingredients this thickshake couldn't be simpler, but it's also full of healthy ingredients, so it will keep you fuller for longer and gives you the added benefits of nutrients too. Bananas are a great source of fibre, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6 and manganese. Potassium is really important for fluid regulation, nerve and muscle function and heart health - our cells have what's known as a sodium-potassium pump, this pump actually underlies most cellular processes, so sufficient intakes of potassium are really important, especially in relation to our salt intake. Other foods high in potassium include: squash, sweet potato, white beans, orange juice and broccoli. 

8 January 2018

Pappardelle with Porcini Bolognese

Maybe it was the food, maybe the wine, or maybe the company, probably a combination of all 3, but this meal was one of the best I've had in a long time. Deeply rich and savoury, with a sweet note from the tomatoes, just the most incredible bolognese I've ever had, served on a bed of pappardelle with a side of garlic bread, a shaving of vegan parmesan and of course, a glass of red wine.

Spaghetti bolognese, or spag bol was a dish invented outside of Italy - the traditional version being Ragรน alla Bolognese, with a sauce consisting only of tomatoes from tomato paste, with the liquid coming from milk and sometimes beef stock too...it's also usually served up with tagliatelle, not spaghetti. This is my take on the dish, with some elements traditional to Italy and some traditional to the version I grew up on, with the addition of porcini mushrooms to the sauce - growing up my mum would actually have to add whole button mushrooms to the dish so my older brother was able to pick them out.

5 January 2018

Creamy Polenta with Smoky Chipotle Mushrooms & Kale

Happy New Year and most importantly, Happy Veganuary! I hope you all had a wonderful time over the holidays and are feeling rested and ready for the year ahead. This next recipe is a perfect balance of being healthy, 'January diet' food, whilst also being comforting and full of flavour, great for the colder weather. 

Creamy garlic infused polenta, topped with smoky, baked chipotle mushooms, lime kale and roasted cherry tomatoes. Polenta can be used in place of mashed potato in certain dishes - it's made of ground cornmeal, that takes on flavours added to it and by using quick-cook polenta, you can make a creamy, delicious base to a meal in minutes! 

22 December 2017

A Euphoric Vegan Christmas

Christmas is a time for loved ones, creating memories and (most importantly) good food! Here I've put together my favourite Christmas recipes to inspire your perfect Christmas, starting off with a warming cup of hot chocolate on Christmas eve. Whether this is your first vegan Christmas, your 3rd or even your 12th meat free Christmas, have a read, get inspired and happy cooking!

Christmas eve

Peppermint Hot chocolate 

My hot chocolate is made with cashew milk and dark chocolate, with a touch of peppermint extract, vegan whipped cream and a candy cane. It's the ultimate Christmas eve drink, so make a cup, put your pyjamas on and watch your favourite Christmas movie.

Cranberry white chocolate cookies (for Santa)

We obviously can't forget a snack for Santa...these cranberry white chocolate cookies really hit the spot, soft, chewy and melt-in-your mouth. And best of all, Santa can't eat 24 cookies...so that leaves plenty to share with family and friends!

P.S. don't forget the carrot for Rudolf!

Christmas day


Cauliflower and Chestnut soup

This cauliflower and chestnut soup is packed with smoky, caramelised flavours that just scream winter and will warm you right through, I topped it with a swirl of herb oil and crunchy, smoky  garlic sourdough croutons. Soup doesn't get much better than this and it may be the best soup I've ever eaten. A warming, festive starter to your Christmas dinner.

Caramelised Fig and Tenderstem Broccoli Salad

If your not a soup fan, why not go for this caramelised fig and broccoli salad? Gooey, warm, caramelised figs - sweet, tangy and a little salty - with tenderstem broccoli, garlic and black pepper croutons, toasted almonds and crumbly vegan cheese on a bed of watercress and drizzled with a balsamic vinegar based dressing. 


Portobello Mushroom Tart

Onto the mains - this portobello mushroom tart really hits the spot for mushroom lovers, with intense dried mushrooms, chesnut and finally portobello mushrooms, infused with thyme and a splash of red wine vinegar, all baked into a crisp, flaky puff pastry tart. These little tarts are individually portioned and absolutely delicious with all the trimmings and lashings of thick gravy!

20 December 2017

Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese

A delicious, creamy cauliflower broccoli cheese - if not a little on the rustic side - the perfect addition to your plate this Christmas. I used my ultimate vegan cheese sauce for this recipe, which I worked on perfecting for over a year, it's rich, creamy, super cheesy, with a hint of nutmeg and black pepper...the secret ingredients to a great vegan cheese sauce.

From looking online, cauliflower cheese seems to be quite a British thing, perhaps the counter part to the ever growing in popularity mac 'n' cheese from the US. Traditionally you wouldn't add broccoli, but I love the addition of it and the extra nutrition it brings too. But if you're from overseas and you haven't yet experienced the wonder that is cauliflower and broccoli cheese, all rich and creamy and baked to perfection...well, you just need to this Christmas! Whilst this recipe is quite high in fat, from the cashews and vegan cheese, it also contains good fats and is rich in nutrients like iron, magnesium, vitamin C, Vitamin B6, protein, calcium, vitamin K and many many more.