July 2015

Peanut Butter

Posted by on Jul 25, 2015 in Vegan Recipes
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Peanut Butter
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Peanut butter can be pretty expensive if you go for the organic or "whole" types. Peanuts themselves are so cheap you can make it yourself for a fraction of the price. For this recipe I used 500g of red skinned peanuts which cost me £1.20. Organic peanuts are usually about double the price, but if you can get those then do. This recipe filled a 340g jar.
Servings Prep Time
340g jar 20 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
340g jar 20 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Peanut Butter
Print Recipe
Peanut butter can be pretty expensive if you go for the organic or "whole" types. Peanuts themselves are so cheap you can make it yourself for a fraction of the price. For this recipe I used 500g of red skinned peanuts which cost me £1.20. Organic peanuts are usually about double the price, but if you can get those then do. This recipe filled a 340g jar.
Servings Prep Time
340g jar 20 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
340g jar 20 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: jar
Instructions
Roasting
  1. Roasting the peanuts is important. If they're not roasted then the oils don't release as well and it tastes completely different to what peanut butter should taste like. You could use already-roasted peanuts, but they might contain a bit too much salt for your liking. Use a flat oven tray and lay out the peanuts evenly. Use 2 trays if you need to and place them in the centre of a pre-heated oven for around 20 minutes on 180°C.
  2. They should be slightly browned - try not to burn them or they'll be really bitter! Sprinkle with salt and give them a good shake before tipping them into a food processor.
Processing
  1. Turn the processor on to break up the peanuts. Stop after a few seconds and remove a couple of handfuls of roughly broken up peanuts if you like your peanut butter crunchy - we'll add these at the end.
  2. Keep processing - you'll need to keep stopping it and pushing the peanuts back onto the blades. At this stage the mixture will seem hopelessly dry and won't resemble peanut butter. This will change - trust me!
  3. After about 10 minutes, you'll notice the mixture becoming a bit more paste-like. It will still be pretty thick at this point, but it just needs processing a bit more. If you think it's taking so long to do anything, then just have faith that it will work! A bit of perseverance will pay off.
  4. Eventually it will resemble actual peanut-butter and will smell incredible. Give it a taste and add more salt if you need to. If you feel it's at a consistency you're happy with, then remove the blade and add the peanuts we set aside earlier and give it a stir. Transfer into a jar and there you've got delicious homemade peanut butter.
Recipe Notes

The same method can be used for a variety of different nuts including almonds, cashews or pistachios.

Creamy Vegan Chana Kurma (Korma)

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Vegan Recipes
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Creamy Vegan Chana Kurma (Korma)
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I've always loved a good korma, and since going meat & dairy free I thought I wouldn't be able to enjoy one again! This recipe uses zero animal products, is incredibly creamy and tastes great! Add some green chillies if you prefer it hot!
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 30 minutes
Creamy Vegan Chana Kurma (Korma)
Print Recipe
I've always loved a good korma, and since going meat & dairy free I thought I wouldn't be able to enjoy one again! This recipe uses zero animal products, is incredibly creamy and tastes great! Add some green chillies if you prefer it hot!
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
Rice
  1. The rice takes the longest, so put this on first. Add 1 tbsp oil into a saucepan along with 2 tsp of turmeric and 1 tsp cumin seeds. Fry for 1 minute before adding the rice and 450ml of boiling water.
  2. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the water has been absorbed.
Curry
  1. Pour the milk into a jug and soak the cashews in it whilst you do the rest. Put the garlic, coconut, ginger, cumin, garam masala, 1tsp of turmeric and oil in a food processor along with a splash of water and blend until it becomes a paste.
  2. Fry the paste along with the onions in a pan until the onions are lightly browned.
  3. Add the carrots, chickpeas & green beans to the pan and mix.
  4. Pour the milk and cashews into a blender/the smoothie attachment of your processor and blend until smooth.
  5. Add the mixture into the pan, give it a stir and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Serve with rice, poppadoms & mango chutney. Delicious!
Recipe Notes

For a bit of heat add some red chilli flakes or fresh green chillies. As there's no meat or dairy involved this will keep for a good week in the fridge. Alternatively make into batches and freeze.

Spicy Rice

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Vegan Recipes
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Spicy Rice
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This is a great accompaniment to so many dishes, and it tastes so good! I like my food hot so I always either add more chilli flakes or sprinkle some fresh cayenne peppers over the top when it's done (when they're in season!). It's very easy to make and the ingredients are usually knocking about in the kitchen somewhere, so give it a go!
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 40 minutes
Spicy Rice
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This is a great accompaniment to so many dishes, and it tastes so good! I like my food hot so I always either add more chilli flakes or sprinkle some fresh cayenne peppers over the top when it's done (when they're in season!). It's very easy to make and the ingredients are usually knocking about in the kitchen somewhere, so give it a go!
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 40 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the garam masala, cayenne pepper and red chilli flakes. Cook the spices for 1-2 minutes before adding the onion and cooking until slightly browned.
  2. Add the garlic and mix for another minute.
  3. Add the stock (I used a Tesco Vegetable Stock Pot), carrots, celery, salt & pepper, rice and 450ml of boiling water (2 parts water to 1 part rice). Give it a good stir and bring to the boil.
  4. Reduce to a low simmer, cover with a lid and cook for about 30 minutes until the water has been absorbed. Try not to touch the rice at all at this stage however temping it may be to keep stirring!
  5. When it's cooked and the water has been absorbed, add the peas, green beans and bell pepper. Give it a mix and take off the heat. I add these bits right at the end so they aren't too soft and they maintain some crunch.
  6. Sprinkle some fresh red chilli over the top and serve!
Recipe Notes

This will be enough for 2-4 people as a side dish. I keep it chilled for up to 5 days and it's absolutely fine to heat in the microwave. Cook in batches and freeze for a quick meal!

Easy Houmous

Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in Vegan Recipes
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Houmous
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I make this recipe several times a week because I love it so much. It always goes down well at BBQs and when I take it to work with me! There's just a few ingredients involved that are cheap, meaning you can make this stuff all the time. I leave out the olive oil because it adds a lot of calories and I eat this stuff all the time, but you can use it if you want for a more traditional houmous. Use this recipe as a base and add whatever you want to flavour it. My personal favourite thing to do with this is to add about 75ml of Frank's Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper sauce at the end. Amazing!
Servings Prep Time
2 350ml Jars 3 minutes
Passive Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 350ml Jars 3 minutes
Passive Time
10 minutes
Houmous
Print Recipe
I make this recipe several times a week because I love it so much. It always goes down well at BBQs and when I take it to work with me! There's just a few ingredients involved that are cheap, meaning you can make this stuff all the time. I leave out the olive oil because it adds a lot of calories and I eat this stuff all the time, but you can use it if you want for a more traditional houmous. Use this recipe as a base and add whatever you want to flavour it. My personal favourite thing to do with this is to add about 75ml of Frank's Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper sauce at the end. Amazing!
Servings Prep Time
2 350ml Jars 3 minutes
Passive Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 350ml Jars 3 minutes
Passive Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
optional
Servings: 350ml Jars
Instructions
  1. For how to prepare your own chickpeas, click here! Put all the ingredients into a food processor on high.
  2. Add some of the liquid you've saved from cooking the chickpeas a bit at a time to help it come together. I use about 200ml. You could just use water instead. You'll need to keep stopping the processor to push the mixture back onto the blades until it's at a consistency you're happy with.
  3. Add more salt if required. At this stage you can add different ingredients to flavour it however you want, or you can just keep it plain. To make it creamier you could pour the mixture into a blender which usually requires a bit more liquid. Empty into containers. I use the 350ml Kilner Jars that I picked up from the supermarket. This recipe will fill 2 of these.
Recipe Notes

I use this houmous in burgers, wraps & bagels, but I mostly use it as a dip for raw veggies, breadsticks, pitta breads, or whatever I can find! It will keep in the fridge for several days, but it's so good that it doesn't last very long.

How to Prepare Chickpeas

Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in Vegan Recipes
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How to Prepare Chickpeas
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There's something about cooking your own chickpeas over buying tinned that makes them so much better. Maybe it's because the tinned variety are processed but this way is cheaper, and they taste way superior! They're easy to cook, they just need time to soak first. 600g of chickpeas will yield around 1.6kg of finished, cooked chickpeas. You can buy 2kg bags of chickpeas from the "world foods" section of the supermarket for about £3, or in any good Asian Food store. There are of few of the latter in my town, and they're fantastic for ingredients. This means that a 2kg bag for £3 will yield 5.3kg of cooked product. Assuming a 400g can of chickpeas is 60p, you'll need to spend £7.95 to get the same amount and they just don't taste as good, trust me!
Prep Time
10 hours
Cook Time Passive Time
1 1/2 hours 1 day
Prep Time
10 hours
Cook Time Passive Time
1 1/2 hours 1 day
How to Prepare Chickpeas
Print Recipe
There's something about cooking your own chickpeas over buying tinned that makes them so much better. Maybe it's because the tinned variety are processed but this way is cheaper, and they taste way superior! They're easy to cook, they just need time to soak first. 600g of chickpeas will yield around 1.6kg of finished, cooked chickpeas. You can buy 2kg bags of chickpeas from the "world foods" section of the supermarket for about £3, or in any good Asian Food store. There are of few of the latter in my town, and they're fantastic for ingredients. This means that a 2kg bag for £3 will yield 5.3kg of cooked product. Assuming a 400g can of chickpeas is 60p, you'll need to spend £7.95 to get the same amount and they just don't taste as good, trust me!
Prep Time
10 hours
Cook Time Passive Time
1 1/2 hours 1 day
Prep Time
10 hours
Cook Time Passive Time
1 1/2 hours 1 day
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Empty the chickpeas into a large bowl and pour in cold water until they're covered. Cover and leave somewhere over night or for about 10 hours. I usually just leave the bowl on the kitchen windowsill.
  2. When you come back to them you'll see that a lot of the water has been soaked up and the kernels have swelled to about 2.5x the size. Empty the bowl including the water into a large saucepan. Top up the water a bit and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for an hour to an hour and a half.
  3. When they're tender turn off the heat and drain. If you're making houmous, then save some of the liquid to use in my recipe.
Recipe Notes

I store my chickpeas in a large plastic box in the fridge. They'll keep for about a week but they can also be frozen. Add them to salads, curries, wraps, burgers, or to make amazing houmous!

Sweet Potato & Nut Burgers

Posted by on Jul 16, 2015 in Vegan Recipes
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Sweet Potato & Nut Burgers
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I love these because they're so quick to make. You can pretty much use anything you want for this recipe; carrots, sweetcorn, onion, chilli, different herbs and spices. You can get "nut cutlets" in Aldi which is where I got the inspiration from. Those are very nice and pretty cheap! This recipe is cheaper though.
Servings Prep Time
4 1/4 pounders 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 1/4 pounders 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 20 minutes
Sweet Potato & Nut Burgers
Print Recipe
I love these because they're so quick to make. You can pretty much use anything you want for this recipe; carrots, sweetcorn, onion, chilli, different herbs and spices. You can get "nut cutlets" in Aldi which is where I got the inspiration from. Those are very nice and pretty cheap! This recipe is cheaper though.
Servings Prep Time
4 1/4 pounders 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 1/4 pounders 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 20 minutes
Ingredients
optional
Servings: 1/4 pounders
Instructions
  1. Dry-fry the onion in a large saucepan on medium-high for around 3 minutes until slightly brown. Add 1 tbsp water at a time if it starts to stick.
  2. Add the garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil. Add spices at this stage if you want to.
  4. Reduce heat and add the soya mince, lentils and salt. Add a splash of water and mix thoroughly before simmering for 20 minutes with the lid on. Try not to let it stick to the pan!
  5. While the mince is simmering, cook and drain the pasta. Save some of the starchy liquid to add to your mince if it gets too thick.
  6. Add the basil to the mixture and taste to see if you need to add more salt or spices. I add black pepper and a handful of kale at this point. Put the lid on and cook for a further 1-2 minutes until the kale has cooked.
  7. Serve and sprinkle some nutritional yeast over the top like you would Parmesan cheese.
Recipe Notes

These are great to chill or freeze if you want to make them in batches. Cook straight from frozen under the grill or bake for about 20 minutes on 200°C.

Soy Bolognese with Lentils

Posted by on Jul 16, 2015 in Vegan Recipes
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Soy Bolognese with Lentils
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I made this when I came across Soya Mince in Tesco. I figured there must be something I can make with this. I wanted to make something better than the bog-standard bolognese where you use beef mince. I found that this recipe not only tastes A LOT better, but it's also a lot healthier. Meat, Dairy & Oil free. Experiment with different spices; this recipe is just the base - I personally add chilli flakes, cumin & smoked paprika, around 1 tsp each. Just throw in whatever you can find, especially if there's half a can of beans in the fridge, or a courgette that's seen better days. Don't waste anything!
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 1 hour
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 1 hour
Soy Bolognese with Lentils
Print Recipe
I made this when I came across Soya Mince in Tesco. I figured there must be something I can make with this. I wanted to make something better than the bog-standard bolognese where you use beef mince. I found that this recipe not only tastes A LOT better, but it's also a lot healthier. Meat, Dairy & Oil free. Experiment with different spices; this recipe is just the base - I personally add chilli flakes, cumin & smoked paprika, around 1 tsp each. Just throw in whatever you can find, especially if there's half a can of beans in the fridge, or a courgette that's seen better days. Don't waste anything!
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 1 hour
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 1 hour
Ingredients
Base
Optional
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Dry-fry the onion in a large saucepan on medium-high for around 3 minutes until slightly brown. Add 1 tbsp water at a time if it starts to stick.
  2. Add the garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil. Add spices at this stage if you want to.
  4. Reduce heat and add the soya mince, lentils and salt. Add a splash of water and mix thoroughly before simmering for 20 minutes with the lid on. Try not to let it stick to the pan!
  5. While the mince is simmering, cook and drain the pasta. Save some of the starchy liquid to add to your mince if it gets too thick.
  6. Add the basil to the mixture and taste to see if you need to add more salt or spices. I add black pepper and a handful of kale at this point. Put the lid on and cook for a further 1-2 minutes until the kale has cooked.
  7. Serve and sprinkle some nutritional yeast over the top like you would Parmesan cheese.
Recipe Notes

I like to save some in a box to chill in the fridge. I'll heat it up later and put it in a wrap, or have it on toast! It will keep for about 5 days in the fridge.