21 May 2016

Smashed Paprika Potatoes



I'm now on the homestretch to completing my second year at uni, with my final assignment in yesterday and my last exam in less than two weeks. The last assignment I did was definitely one of the greatest challenges I've ever completed regarding academics; there were so many components, not to mention it was group work too, so you can imagine my relief when I woke up this morning and it hit me that I have finally completed it!


One way to celebrate was by finally booking a holiday, to Budapest! I've heard such great reviews about Budapest from some friends who have been and by the online comments it looks like an amazing place for vegan food too! I've already been doing some reading and have discovered that the national spice of  Hungary is paprika, so of course I had to come up with something that featured paprika! Whilst there are many different types of the spice in Hungary, I've used a regular sweet paprika, combined with a touch of smoked paprika for this dish.


The recipe is for garlicky-paprika smashed potatoes with a smoked paprika, creamy dipping sauce, they're crispy, delicious and just so more-ish! They work well as a snack or side dish, they'll serve 2-4 people depending on what you serve them up with, if you think you're going to need more then simply make up a double batch. They re-heat well in the oven too!


From what I've read online Budapest has some great vegan restaurants, but I'd love to try out some of the best, as recommended by my readers! I'd also love to try some authentic Hungarian options, so if you've visited Budapest, or happen to live there, please leave a comment with places we just have to try when visiting! 



Smashed Paprika Potatoes | Serves: 2-4 | Time: 45 mins

You'll need


  • Large saucepan
  • Large baking tray
  • Grease-proof paper
  • Fork
  • Blender/food processor

Ingredients

Potatoes:

  • 750g small potatoes (Marylyn, New, Jersey Royal etc)
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • Oil
  • Salt and pepper
Dip:
  • 1/2 block silken tofu (~150g)
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and pepper
Method:
  1. Bring a large pan of slightly salted water to the boil, pre-heat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with grease-proof paper.
  2. Boil the potatoes for 15-20 minutes, then drain. Place the potatoes on a baking tray and press down gently with the back of a fork, season with paprika, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper, then lightly drizzle with oil. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
  3. To make the dip, add the tofu, lemon juice and seasonings to the blender, along with a pinch of salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  4. Serve up the potatoes with the dip on the side and enjoy! 

Cassidy xx


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11 May 2016

Summer BBQ Burrito


With summer just around the corner and the weather warming up BBQ season has officially begun. When it comes to being invited to non-vegan BBQ's its usually easier to think about bringing something yourself, rather than surviving the afternoon on a crisp sandwich whilst everyone else is happily munching away on endless amounts of food. 


I wanted to create something that was a full meal, wrapped into one foil package that could be cooked on the BBQ in 15 minutes and without the worry that you'll still be hungry afterwards and will have to ask a million questions about the contents of the buffet table. Burritos seemed like the perfect option, you can stuff them and roll them at home in 10 minutes, they contain all the elements of the meal so you don't have to worry about condiments either and then they can be cooked on the BBQ alongside the rest of the food, without the worry of contamination.

2 May 2016

Peri Peri Mushroom Bowl


This next recipe is one for those who love spicy food; featuring Absolute Spice's Peri Peri blend. It's full of the delicious flavours of garlic, onion, basil, cayenne, salt and chili; roasted with a mix of exotic and baby portobello mushrooms, red onion and red pepper, on a bed of wholegrain rice and green lentils, finished off with a tangy lime-soy dressing. 


The best thing about the Peri Peri spice mix is that it isn't just spicy; it has so much flavour delivered by the onion, garlic and basil, making a wonderful marinade for the earthy mushrooms and sweet peppers. It smells absolutely devine and tastes amazing whether cooked into the food or not; I would love to try it sprinkled over some oven baked chips or to spice up some hummus! Peri Peri spice is a Portuguese spice mix, that can be made from a range of  different herbs and spices, usually including chili, garlic, onion and salt. 

30 April 2016

Zahtar Tofu Salad With Cashew Tzatziki


I've often said that herbs and spices are the essence of good cooking; they're what set dishes apart from one another and when used correctly are the most wonderful addition to recipes, so it's important that they're of high quality too. Spices can degrade in both taste and aroma with age, and some spices are simply stronger than others according to variety and manufacturing methods, so remember when purchasing, not all spices are created equal! The awesome people over at absolute spice have sent me some goodies to cook with and review and I couldn't be more excited! Absolute spice is a London based spice company who supply to some of the top restaurants, their spices are available to order online here!


My first recipe is a zahtar crusted tofu and bulgur wheat salad with some vegan cashew tzatziki. Zahtar, or za'atar is a mixture of middle eastern herbs consisting of thyme, sumac, sesame seeds and a pinch of salt; it's delicious in savoury dishes such as salads and on flat breads, with it's herby-fresh , almost lemon-like flavour. The spice also has some folk tradition to it; it is said that it helps to clear the mind and in some countries it is consumed before exams to help thought clarity, whether proven or not, this spice mix is full of anti-inflammatory properties and tastes simply amazing!

28 April 2016

Baked Jackfruit & Mushroom Spring Rolls



I know what you're thinking...why would anyone want to make spring rolls when you can just buy them; just let me explain... These spring rolls are filled with the most beautiful ingredients, including fragrant herbs, jackfruit and dried mushrooms, that produce the most wonderful 'meaty' texture and delicious flavours. These are also baked, not fried meaning they don't have that horrible greasy feeling that a normal spring roll has; this allows you to enjoy the fresh tasting ingredients, with that signature crunch! It's also really fun! This isn't one of those recipes for when you're in a rush, but for when you want to enjoy the art of cooking and awaken your senses, and trust me, the reward afterwards is more than worth it! And finally by making the spring rolls yourself you know what's in them; you fill them with fresh veggies and wonderful seasonings; these are delicious, 'meaty', crunchy, vegan spring rolls that you just have to try!


In the midst of all the chaos, approaching the end of my second year at university, sometimes you just have to stop and enjoy the little things. So my way of de-stressing today was to try something I'd never made before, but again, have wanted to for a while now. It was so much fun and filled with a sense of accomplishment...not to mention 18 freshly baked spring rolls at the end! Sometime's it's so easy to get caught up with schedules and deadlines that we forget to make time for ourselves, so whether it be this recipe, or one you've had bookmarked for 2 years promising yourself that you'd finally get around to it, make time, savour that food and smile.