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18 November 2017

Cinnamon Whiskey Roasted Veg

If you've seen my previous post, then you'd know this recipe was coming, along with a secret ingredient that makes the most incredible roasted veg ever. I've made whiskey roasted carrots before and I'm sure you've all seen plenty of recipes for cinnamon glazed veg online...but what if you combined them?

So, I was talking to my mum and full disclosure, she came up with the genius idea of using her new favourite drink Jack Daniels Fire - for those not in the know, this is cinnamon whiskey - to roast veg! So, there you have it, the secret ingredient to this amazing roast veg is Cinnamon Whiskey! The hint of cinnamon, combined with the sweet acidity of the whiskey, a drizzle of maple syrup, olive oil, fresh time and a good pinch of salt just makes this roasted root veg the best you've probably ever tasted.

8 November 2017

Portobello Mushroom Tarts

This tart is a must-try for mushroom lovers, inspired by one at a roast dinner chain restaurant in the UK...a juicy portobello mushroom sits on a bed of rich mushrooms, surrounded by perfectly crisp puff pastry. I served the tart up with the most incredible roasted winter veg...using a super secret ingredient, a complete game changer for root veg, which I'll be revealing next week on the blog!

I used a handful of mixed dried mushrooms and also fresh chestnut mushrooms for the base, combined with onion, garlic, fresh thyme and a splash of red wine vinegar, the depth of flavour is incredible and it was pretty difficult not to eat all the tarts in one sitting! Whilst being delicious, mushrooms are also a good source of copper, potassium and B vitamins, they also contain a few grams of protein per 100g and a little fibre too. I simply served mine up with some roasted winter veg and gravy, but you could easily add some roasted potatoes or mash too.

1 November 2017

Miso Noodle Soup

First of all - Happy World Vegan Day!!!

When I visited Thailand a few years back, I was absolutely in love with the food, but I never jumped on the noodle soup bandwagon - it was always pad thai, a different variety of curry or veggies, tofu and rice and though that might sound pretty limited, every dish we had was always unique, yet still incredibly flavourful. I was vegetarian at the time, but we had some friends out there to translate for us and make sure there was A) no fish sauce and B) the food was much less spicy than they'd serve to the locals. Despite being there for 3 weeks, I still struggle to use chopsticks, though with a dish like this it's almost essential - you pick up the noodles and veggies with chopsticks and use a spoon for the broth. Oh - and thanks to my local Thai restaurant who gave me chopsticks for this post, at 11.30am, before they were even open, when I'd been to every shop in town and no where sold them!

It was immediately after this trip that I went vegan, towards the end of the trip I saw an instagram post of a male chick, not even minutes old being disposed of and it got the ball rolling, that maybe being vegetarian wasn't as cruelty free as I would have liked to believe. It may sound like a cliche and there's so many people who go travelling and come back 'changed' or having found spiritual enlightenment, but during that trip my eyes were really opened to the world of veganism and what it was all about.

24 October 2017

Halloween Sushi

Halloween typically isn't very vegan friendly - or healthy - with the abundance of sweets and chocolate, loaded with sugar, fat, salt and yes, animal products. So you may have opted for a party, to immerse you, or your kids in the Halloween experience without having to worry about what you can or can't eat. Having people round allows you to decide what foods you're going to provide and still load on the spooky foods, without all the animal products.

Party food needs to be bite sized, easily customisable for different tastes and most importantly, delicious! Sushi is a great place to start and I've included some simpler 'pumpkin' sushi (which is mainly mashed pumpkin and rice, for even the fussiest of eaters! I also made some 'eyeball' nori rolls and some spooky pink-purple rolls, filled with the veggies of your choice (I used marinated tofu, carrot, spring onion and pickled red cabbage). I also used mirin to season the rice, which is fine for adults, but for kids, you can swap this sweet Japanese wine out for some rice wine vinegar and sugar instead.

15 October 2017

Caramelised Fig & Tenderstem 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. Warm salads are perfect for enjoying in Autumn, where it's slightly colder, but the chill of winter hasn't yet set in; this one is layered with the most incredible flavours and textures that can serve 4-5 as a starter, or 2-3 as a main.

The figs were roasted in a mix of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, date syrup, thyme and a pinch of salt, they come out perfectly jammy and delicious and the liquid used for roasting doubles as a salad dressing. I made the croutons from some slightly stale sourdough, coated in garlic powder, plenty of black pepper, salt and a good glug of extra virgin olive oil - they are so deliciously savoury and satisfyingly crunchy, a perfect addition to this dish.