The Diminishing Vegan

Veganism and Weight Loss

Category: Recipes (Page 1 of 2)

Vegan Pea Soup

I’ve been feeling the soup vibe recently which is unusual for me as I’m generally not a soup-y person, not sure if it is the rubbish weather or just the time of year but yeah, soup has been getting made every weekend. Last weekend I thought I would try a new type for me. I like peas, but can’t remember every trying them as a soup. This recipe serves 3 good sized or 4 smaller sized portions. I’ve not tried freezing it but I would guess it should be fine.

Vegan Pea Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 1tsp Vegan Margarine
  • 800ml Vegetable Stock
  • 250g Frozen Peas
  • 100ml Rice/Soya/Nut milk
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Chives and Tarragon

Method

Chop the onion and sautee in a little water.

Add flour and stir for a minute or two until really well mixed. Take off heat and add 2 ladles of stock. Whisk until smooth.

Add remaining stock and return to heat. Add peas and simmer for 5 minutes.

Mix milk with cornflour and pour slowly into soup, reheat until almost boiling.

Liquidise with a hand blender/in a blender. Add seasoning.

That’s it! Quick and easy (and tasty!) soup. I forgot to take a picture of just the soup but took one with a sheese and tomato bagel too.

Vegan Pea Soup

If you can’t tell from the recipe I am trying to avoid oil, it really is empty calories, I’ve never used a huge amount but in all honesty I feel with my real push to lose weight it is just empty nothing calories. I was down 5 pounds this week (whoop!) so I am really trying to keep my focus. This oil free recipe is around 100 calories a serving so barely anything. It’s not the most filling but it is delicious!

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Curried Barley and Mushrooms | Slow cooker

I’m trying to save some time cooking this year and would love to start using my slow cooker, so one of the first recipes I thought I would try was curried barley and mushrooms. This is out of one of my old non-vegan slow cooker cookbooks, although it has quite a lot of vegan options, and more that can certainly be veganised. This ended up more like a biryani but was very tasty, the barley was light and fluffy but very flavourful.

Curried Barley and Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 1 Bunch of Spring Onions
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 tsp Mild Curry Paste
  • 1 1/2 cups of Vegetable Stock
  • 1 cup of Pearl Barley
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 cup of Coconut Milk (I made mine from 2 tsp of dehydrated coconut mix)
  • 400g Mushrooms
  • 1 tin of Garden Peas

Method

  1. Chop spring onions, sweat for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add turmeric and mix well. Add curry paste and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Rinse pearl barley and add to the pot, put back on a very mild heat for a minute or so, until well coated.
  4. Add stock, coconut milk and a bay leaf and bring to the boil.
  5. Put in slow cooker, cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4. This took less time that I thought it would so I kept it on warm for a while until we were ready to eat.
  6. When ready to server sautee mushrooms and drain a tin of peas then mix these both in with the grains. Serve with rice and vegetables

Curried barley and mushrooms

Definitely recommended if you like Indian flavour foods, it was something a little different as well with the barley. Very healthy and filling. I had leftovers the next day as well which was just as nice re-heated.

I also think I will start including a rough amount for calories, considering I am calorie counting! This served 4 people at around 273 calories a portion. Any rice/vegetables are extra. I had it with brown rice and veg which took the meal up to around 500 calories. Not too bad for such a big meal!

Also just wanted to say that so far I have had no takeaways this year! I know it’s only the 8th of January but my husband has had 2 lots of takeaway food so far so I’m feeling good about it! I’ve been fasting most days, having smoothies most days and it’s going well.

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Vegan Nutella Christmas Tree

For pudding this year I have decided to give the Bosh Vegan Nutella Christmas Tree a go. I couldn’t resist the look of it on facebook, it’s maybe not a traditional desert but warm teamed with vegan cream we are all in agreement in our house that tradition can go out the window for this!

Vegan Nutella Christmas Tree

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of Hazelnuts, roasted
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 200g of melted dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup oat milk
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry
  • Olive oil
  • Vegan Cream

Method

I had pre-shelled hazelnuts from Holland and Barrett so didn’t need to shell them. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast for around 12 minutes at 180 degrees celsius.

Put in a food processor with salt and process until well broken up. Melt dark chocolate, I used a 200g 75% dark chocolate bar, add this to the food processor. Add 1/2 cup of oat milk and 1/2 cup of maple syrup. Process until well mixed.

Place a sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking tray. Lay down the first sheet of puff pastry. Spread the nutella mix in a tree/triangle shape on the first layer.

On top place the second layer of pastry to make a pastry/nutella sandwich. Cut the excess pastry where there is no nutella so you end up with a large triangle.

Slice in along the edges going up the edges of the tree. Twist these a little.

Vegan Nutella Christmas Tree - Uncooked

Brush the tree with olive oil and bake in the oven at 200 degrees celsius for around 20 minutes. Enjoy with vegan cream. I forgot to take a picture of the finished tree but will be having some more tonight so will come back and add a finished picture!

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Christmas Menu 2017 | Vegan Christmas

Christmas Menu 2017

I know it’s late but I thought I would share my plans for what we are having this Christmas. I can’t quite believe that the year is nearly at and end already. I’m very badly organised this year due to work being crazy busy in the last few weeks, but I’ve not forgotten about my blog and in fact plan to use it a lot more in 2018 to help me reach my goals. More on that next week however!

Starter

  • Smoked “Salmon”/Carrot Lox on Bagels with Vegan Cream Cheese
  • Spiced Carrot Soup

Main

  • Turkey Style Seitan
  • Giant Sausage Roll
  • Stuffing
  • Vegan Sausage Rolls
  • Vegan Sausages in Fake Bacon
  • Maple Parsnips and Carrots
  • Roast Potatoes
  • Spiced Red Cabbage
  • Brussel Sprouts with Chestnuts
  • Turnip and Carrot Mash
  • Vegan Bread Sauce

Pudding

  • Vegan Nutella Christmas Tree
  • Mince Pie Brownies

So that’s the plan for Christmas day, I still need to work out timings and I suspect some of it will be pre-made, or at least partially pre-made tomorrow. I plan to be eating leftovers for days.

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Vegan Mac and Cheese

Vegan Mac and Cheese is something my daughter is always asking for. To be honest, I have an issue with white coloured food (excluding cauliflower and alpro vegan cream) so I’ve never really missed it, but for her sake I have attempted to make it a couple of times with no real success.

In previous attempts with potatoes and carrots the sauce lacked creaminess, however I had seen a few recipes pop up on facebook using cashews which certainly appeared to improve the consistency so thought I would give it a try. Additionally it doesn’t take that long, although a little preparation of the cashews is required in the morning/night before.

Vegan Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 200g dried macaroni
  • 1 cup of white potato peeled and chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup of carrots peeled and chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup of water from the boiled vegetables
  • 1/2 cup of raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup of rice milk
  • 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

Method

  1. In the morning before I left for work I put my cashews in a bowl of water to soften them a little, my blender is good but not amazingly good so I hoped this would help and it did.
  2. When you are ready to start making it put the macaroni on to boil.
  3. Peel and chop the veg into small chunks, the smaller they are the quicker it cooks. Place them all together in boiling water and boil until they are all soft. For me this was around 15 minutes.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to remove the veg and put in the blender. Drain the cashews and add all of the other ingredients.
  5. Blend until nice and smooth.
  6. Mix with the macaroni and serve. Next time I may use some vegan cheese and breadcrumbs and put in the oven.

Vegan Mac and Cheese

That’s it, nice and simple, tasty and filling. To get over my white food issues I added some sauteed mushrooms and onions and sprinkled a liberal amount of chilli flakes on but my daughter had as is and ate the lot.

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Fruit Birthday Cake | Fresh Fruit

It was my daughters birthday party last week, we visited our local laser tag place for two hours of fun with 10 kids and a couple of adults. May I just say at this point that I won both games. Not only did I beat 10 children, I beat my husband, teenage son and some random strangers. Clearly this is a proud moment for me! I’d like to thank my parents, my school etc etc..but most of all my weight loss because I could shoot/run/duck and hide my way to victory.

Ahem, now I have the tale of my victories out of the way I wanted to share my daughters birthday cake. Last year we made a Panda, rainbow, aquafaba layer cake which looking back on was pretty impressive! This year however she requested something a little different, a fruit cake, made with fresh fruit, namely a melon cake.

She loves fruit, and actually isn’t that big a fan of cake, and being the only vegan in her friend group and I think she likes being seen as the healthy one.

Sadly, I was a little worried about judgement. From who? Other parents, the venue, family, isn’t that mad? I was worried about being judged for giving children fruit rather than a huge amount of sugar.

Worry of judgement aside, I just went for it, and created a three tier cake from watermelon, gala melon and honeydew. We then garnished it with 3 types of grapes, strawberries, kiwi and pineapple.

fruit birthday cake

The kids absolutely tore into it, after two games of laser tag I think it was actually perfect.

I did also make some vegan cupcakes, these were for the party bags and adults there, but making a fruit cake and cupcakes was much quicker and easier than making a full birthday cake, which was good considering how busy I am at the moment!

vegan cupcakes

At some point I’ll do a post about the cupcakes but you can find a close recipe for them here.

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Vegan Pancakes | Sweet Stuff

Definitely not weight loss related but yesterday was pancake day. I’ve tried a few different recipes for vegan pancakes since going vegan and while they’ve all been okay, none have been really knock out. That is until these. Even my highly fussy non-vegan husband thought these were delicious.

This recipe is for the larger style of pancakes, the type that require flipping. However, I am a coward when it comes to flipping (plus I’m paranoid my frying pan handle will break off, that has happened once before) so I tend to use a slice to turn them. This recipe will make 8 large pancakes, of which we all had 2 each. One serving was around 250 calories, so not all that bad diet wise either.

Vegan Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 240g Plain Flour
  • 1.3 tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1 and 1/3 cups of Soya Milk
  • 3/4 cup of Water
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Method

Sift together the dry ingredients, then add the wet. Really simple. I then whisked for a few minutes just to make sure all the flour was mixed in properly. If the mixture is a little thick (it should be pourable) add more milk.

Heat a frying pan and brush with vegetable oil, or use fry light. Heat up to pretty hot. I then used a ladle and used just over one ladle full per pancake. Fry for a few minutes on each side. If there was one complaint with them is that they didn’t really brown up but we were hungry so I didn’t overcook and to be honest the paleness did not detract from the flavour at all.

I had lemon and a tsp of sugar with mine, my son and daughter had maple syrup, and husband had dark chocolate buttons and sliced banana.

vegan pancakes

They really were tasty, I have been made to promise we are having them again at the weekend and I can’t say I’m complaining!

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Dark Seitan | Seitan Recipe

A few months ago I saw a new dark seitan recipe on facebook and thought I would need to try it out, I’m not sure why I took so long getting around to it but I remembered it this weekend and was sure I had all the ingredients so it was time. This seitan recipe is from the Buddhist Chef, I’ve split the recipe in half so makes enough for two – three decent sized portions, I have no idea on syns for slimming world, on the app 100g of tinned seitan is 0.5 syns as an idea.

Dark Seitan Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of wheat gluten
  • 1/4 cup of gram flour
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp paprika, basil and onion powder
  • 1 tsp ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon of vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 3/4 cups of warm water
  • Pot full of veg stock, around 3 – 4 cups

Method

Combine the dry ingredients well.

In a separate bowl combine ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and warm water. Add this to the dry ingredients, this will make a wettish dough. Mix well, kneading for around two minutes. I found this dough to be a little wetter than usual when I make seitan but I think this is probably what made it so nice.

Shape the seitan into an oval/log shape. Wrap in clingfilm, tying each end to make a sealed package.

Dark Seitan 1

Bring the stock to the boil and drop in the seitan. Lower to a simmer and simmer for one hour, turning the seitan occasionally.

Once the hour is up turn off the heat and allow the seitan to sit in the stock for another 15 minutes. Slice, eat and try not to eat it all at once. Dark Seitan 2

This seitan had a lovely flavour, I had it as part of a roast and it was so good, the only problem was that I couldn’t stop myself eating it! It certainly didn’t last long. This was the best seitan I have made yet, it could have been used across a variety of meals, in sandwiches, salads etc, I’ll definitely be making it again.

 

Dark Seitan 3

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Vegan Minestrone Soup | Slimming World

I was at a different slimming world group this week, usually I go on a Wednesday but this week I couldn’t make it so went on Saturday and while there the usual soup discussion happened. I overheard people speaking about accidentally vegan minestrone soup which was nice so thought I would give it a go. They were using pre-prepared veg which had to be synned, I don’t like synning things like veg so thought I would just knock together some soup with what I had. This is syn free and delicious.

Vegan Minestrone Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 Onion
  • 3 Carrots
  • 3 Stalks of Celery
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 tin of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 litre of Veg Stock
  • 100g Wholewheat Spaghetti broken up
  • 3 pickled onions
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Italian Herbs
  • Salt and Pepper

Method

Sautee onion and garlic for two minutes. Add chopped carrots and Celery and a little water and cook for another 5 minutes until beginning to soften. Add chopped tomatoes, picked onions, balsamic vinegar, veg stock, herbs and seasoning. Simmer for at least 30 minutes.

I cooked the pasta separate as my husband didn’t want any in it for around 10 minutes. I blended most of the soup, served my husbands, then mixed the pasta into the rest of the soup. There was enough for around 3 – 4 decent sized servings.

Vegan Minestrone Soup

I’m not sure the picture does it justice but it really was a tasty soup. I can be a bit hit and miss with soups but I will 100% be making this one again, I think the addition of the balsamic vinegar and picked onions gave it a bit of a nice kick.

Baked Risotto | Dinner

I can’t remember when I found this recipe for baked risotto, I think it was shortly after I went vegan. Pre-vegan days I used to make another type of risotto, thinking back it was so overpoweringly cheesy, the thought of it turns my stomach now. I now jump between this one and a mushroom and onion risotto, but I usually make one of them at least once a fortnight.

The baked version has the advantage that it takes a lot less work, you mix the ingredients and shove it in the oven. On the down side it is never quite as creamy tasting, but it is still a tasty dinner. It also has another positive, this week I didn’t realise I had ran out of arborio rice so made it with long grain rice and it turned out just as nice. This serves around 3 people (or 2 with leftovers for us).

Baked Risotto

Ingredients

  • Spray oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup of arborio rice
  • 1 box of chopped tomatoes
  • Dried Italian seasoning, basil, salt and pepper for the sauce
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to around 200 celsius (180 fan, 400 fahrenheit). In a large pan cook onion and garlic for around 5 minutes until soft. Stir in rice until coated.

Add tomatoes and seasoning and cook for another 5 minutes.

Lastly add stock and bring to the boil, stirring continually.

Transfer to an oven-safe dish and cover with foil. Bake in the centre of the oven until liquid is absorbed, which usually is around 30 minutes.

At the end, remove from the oven and stir in the spinach and nutritional yeast if using.

The nutritional yeast is 5 syns for the 2 tbsp, so split between the meal it’s around 1.5 syns a portion, it’s also optional and only makes a minor difference to the flavour leaving it out.

I have it with whatever fresh veg I have around, sometimes chips/onion rings.

baked risotto

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Vegetable Curry | Dinner

I often struggle making tasty curry’s, but this vegetable curry is a hard one to mess up. It took around 40 minutes to make, and has 1.5 syns and was enough for two biggish servings, if you doubled the quantities it would be fine for more servings.

Vegetable Curry

Ingredients

  • 2 white potatoes cubed
  • 1 large courgette sliced
  • 1/2 red pepper sliced
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 10 mushrooms sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp of mild curry powder
  • 2 tsp of coconut milk powder
  • 1/2 a tub of passata
  • spray oil

Method

Using spray oil and a little of the curry powder, put the potatoes, courgette and red pepper in the oven for around 20 minutes to soften.

Once they are soft, sautee the onion, mushroom and garlic in a pot for a few minutes, then add the remaining curry powder and ensure it is mixed well, cook for another couple of minutes. Add the veg from the oven and passata and mix.

At this point I boiled the kettle and added an undetermined amount of water, you have to cook it on the hob for around 20 minutes to ensure the spices get through it all, so add enough to keep it liquidy, I would guess around 400ml. (This seems to be how much of my cooking goes, just throw it in and hope for the best!).

In the last 5 minutes I mixed my coconut powder with water, around 1/4 of a cups worth, to make a thin milk. You could also use coconut milk out of a tin if you like, I just find the powder is easier to store especially when you only need a little. 1 level tsp is 1.5 syns. I added the milk last and cooked for another couple of minutes.

We had this with rice and more speed veg in the way of purple and green cabbage. It was lovely, not too spicy, I could have chucked in some cayenne pepper but my husband wouldn’t have at it then so mild was fine.

vegetable curry

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Chickpea Omelette | Breakfast

Back in my pre-vegan days I ate a lot of eggs, in fact I found eggs to be one of the things I missed the most when I first made the switch. I’ve tried the follow your heart vegan eggs and found them to be overpoweringly eggy tasting, which was a shame, I was hopeful I would love them! (Although at £7 a box, I’m kind of glad I didn’t!) This week a recipe for a chickpea omelette popped up on my facebook, the picture looked delicious and they are something I’ve wanted to try for a while and I just kept forgetting about them. The omelette itself turned out to be incredibly quick to make, and really delicious.

Chickpea Omelette

Ingredients

  • 25g Gram Flour
  • 1 tsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/4 cup of water

Method

Mix all of the ingredients. Whisk well to get out the lumps in the batter.

Heat a frying pan with some spray oil, pour in the batter. Cook on both sides.

As a filling I used mushrooms, onions and a tiny bit of vegan cream cheese, and I served it with baked beans.

chickpea omelette

Slimming world wise this is 5 syns, 4 for the flour and 1 for the nooch, but in my opinion it was worth every syn. Not quite like an omelette but enough to satisfy, and very tasty. Remember to give me a follow on instagram, facebook and twitter for more.

Tomato and Herb Sauce | Dinner

This tomato and herb sauce is made usually once a week in my house, it’s quick, can be frozen, nutritional and definitely slimming world friendly. I usually serve it with wholewheat spaghetti, occasionally I’ll have with rice, or even just vegetables. It can also be used in lasagne, and I use a similar base when making bean chilli.

Tomato and Herb Sauce

Ingredients

  • Spray Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Chopped finely
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 8-10 Mushrooms, Sliced
  • 1 Carrot, Chopped
  • 1 Stalk of Celery, Chopped
  • Tomato puree
  • 1 Box of Chopped Tomatoes (or a tin)
  • Vegetable Stock, around 1/2 litre
  • Italian Mixed Herbs
  • Basil
  • Salt and Pepper

Method

Sautee the garlic and onion in a pot with spray oil for a few minutes. Add mushrooms and continue cooking for another few minutes. Add celery and carrot and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the tomato puree and herbs. I don’t measure the herbs, just a generous sprinkle of the basil and mixed Italian herbs (basil, oregano, thyme and parsley). I season with salt and pepper.

Add the chopped tomatoes and stock. This will make quite a liquidy sauce. This needs reduced and will take around 30 – 40 minutes to get to a thickness that is suitable. The longer you cook the sauce the richer it gets, 30 – 40 minutes at a simmer is usually about right, but taste it often to be sure.

Finally, right at the end I may use the hand blender to blend it up a little. My daughter can be fussy about vegetables in sauce, so if I blend it up she can’t see them. If it’s just for myself though I often won’t bother.

Syn free, delicious, packed full of vegetables, it’s a great sauce. I hate jarred sauces now, they taste way too salty for me, but with this being so easy to make I really don’t mind. Plus, it costs about £1.50 for four portions. Cheap as anything.

Tomato and Herb Sauce

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Side Dishes | Christmas Menu

We are having a variety of side dishes with our Christmas meal, I had planned these with minimal fuss so I can focus on the seitan roast!

Side Dishes Recipes

Roast Potatoes

Ingredients

  • Potatoes
  • Rapeseed (Vegetable) Oil
  • Garlic
  • Rosemary

Method

The key is in the method rather than the ingredients for these potatoes. I peel and chop the potatoes first, then parboil for around 10 minutes.  Once done I drain and shake them about in the drainer to scuff  up the edges. While I’m parboiling I heat the oil in a baking tray in the oven. Rapeseed is good as it reaches a high temperature. Put in the potatoes, garlic and sprinkle a little rosemary over them. Then spoon some of the hot oil over the potatoes and cook until crispy. It depends on what else I’m cooking how quickly they are done, but around 30 minutes is usually fine.

Maple Carrots and Parsnips

Ingredients

  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Maple Syrup
  • Olive Oil

Method

Peel the veg, chop into longish chunks, quartering each vegetable then chopping up. Parboil them together for around 5 – 10 minutes, the parsnips cook quicker.

Heat olive oil in the tray first, then when veg is parboiled add to tray and squeeze a generous amount of maple syrup over. Season with salt and pepper too. Mix the veg and roast until done. I may add more maple syrup during cooking if required.

Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts

Ingredients

  • 300 g Brussels Sprouts
  • 200 g Chestnuts (Vacuum Packed)
  • 8 Shallots
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 40 g vegan margerine

Method

Peel Brussels sprouts and score at the bottom in a cross (this takes ages!)

Boil a pan of water and blanch sprouts for a minute. Chop shallots finely. Melt vitalite in a frying pan and add shallots, cooking till golden. Add brussels sprouts, reduce and heat and cook for 8 minutes (or until they are all cooked through), stirring occasionally. Add chestnuts last, and cook for around another 4 minutes. Serve.

Yorkshire Puddings

Ingredients

  • 115 g Plain Flour
  • 1 heaped tsp Gram Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 pint of soy milk
  • Rapeseed Oil

Method

Whisk the dry ingredients. Slowly whisk the milk in. Heat the tray with oil in every well until hot. Split the mix over a 12 well tray. Cook at 230 Celsius (210 Fan, 450 Fahrenheit) for 20 minutes without opening the oven. I’ve never made these before, I also have a backup recipe that uses soda water but will give this a try first.

Bread Sauce

I make this in memory of my dad, he loved bread sauce, I was never a fan but decided to make it last year when I went vegan and actually really liked it, so now it’s a permanent addition to the menu.

Ingredients

  • 600 ml Oatly
  • 1 onion, halved and studded with around 12 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 150g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 50g vegan margarine

Method

Put onion, bay leaf and peppercorns in saucepan and pour in Oatly. Bring to just about boiling and remove from heat. Allow to rest for 2 hours.

Remove onion, bay leaf and pepper and keep to one side. Add breadcrumbs and put back on heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Season with salt, pepper and margarine. It can be chilled and reheated and you can add in the onion/bay leaf/peppercorns for more flavour if required.

There you have it, all of our other side dishes are either out of a packet or bought pre-made. I hope everyone has a lovely Christmas, enjoy the time with your family, the food, the relaxing.

Vegan Christmas

Spiced Parsnip Soup | Christmas Menu

This wintery spiced parsnip soup is from the festive feasts slimming world book and sounds deliciously warming. In the book this is served with garlic yoghurt, I won’t be replacing this for the vegan version although you can use a little vegan cream instead (if you remember!)

Spiced Parsnip Soup

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 4 large parsnips, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, skinned and cut into wedges
  • 4 garlic cloves sliced
  • 5 cm root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • fresh coriander

Method

Pre-heat oven to 200 Celsius (180 fan, 400 Fahrenheit). Spray a roasting tin with oil and add parsnips, carrots, onion, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, spices and seasoning. Toss well, add more spray oil. Roast veg for around 40 minutes, or until vegetables are just beginning to brown.

Spiced Parsnip Soup

Transfer roasted vegetables to saucepan, add stock and simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool a little.

Blend with a hand blender (or food processor/blender). Reheat gently, stir in lemon juice and fresh herbs, add more seasoning if required.

Spiced Parsnip Soup

That’s it, straight forward tasty soup. I made this on Christmas Eve and stock at the lemon juice/herbs stage. You can see my full Christmas Menu here and remember you can follow me on facebook, twitter or instagram!

Mushroom and Thyme Tartlets | Christmas Menu

These little Mushroom and Thyme tartlets are being made as a snack in my Christmas Menu. Thyme is my favourite herb, the flavour of it is delicious, and I often sneak it into anything I can get away with. These were a lovely little snack on Christmas day.

Mushroom and Thyme Tartlets

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 large onion
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 175g mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Lemon Juice
  • 6 large slices of white bread
  • 1 tsbp vegan margarine
  • 75g vegan cheese (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 200 Celsius (400 Fahrenheit, 190 fan). Heat olive oil in frying pan, fry onions until soft.

Season  with salt, pepper and sugar, then add mushrooms and thyme. Fry until mushrooms have released water. When reduced stir in a squeeze of lemon juice.

Using a glass, cut out 6cm circles of bread, if not big enough roll out bread a little.

Brush one side with melted vegan margerine and place margarine side down in shallow cake tray (mince pie tray). Press in so bread is fully in contact with tray.

mushroom and thyme tartlets

Spoon mushroom mixture in, around 1 – 2 teaspoons per tart. Top with a little vegan cheese if you choose to.

Bake for around 10 – 15 minutes, or until bread is crispy and mixture is cooked.

mushroom and thyme tartlets

Remove from tin and serve.

Here you can view my overall Christmas Menu, and don’t forget to follow me on facebook, twitter and instagram!

 

Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles | Christmas Menu

These dark chocolate avocado truffles are tasty, but have the added benefit of actually being pretty good for you, considering what a delicious sweet treat they are! I’m making these as a snack, and may take some more to a new years party we are attending if they go down well.

Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles

Ingredients

  • 280g 70% Dark Chocolate (at least 70%)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup (or just plain old caster sugar)
  • Toppings – cocoa powder, dessicated coconut, chopped nuts

Method

Break chocolate into chunks and place in a glass mixing bowl above a pot of water. Just simmer the water and stir the chocolate as it’s melting. Once fully melted stir in the agave syrup (or sugar). Set aside to cool.

Scoop out the avocado flesh, add the salt and using a fork mash to a pulp.

Gently fold the avocado into the melted chocolate. Put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or until it firms up. When nearly ready put your chosen coatings in small bowls.

Roll the chocolate mixture into balls, dip the balls into the coatings and cover. Continue until all the chocolate mixture is used up.

Put truffles in an airtight container and chill for another 30 minutes. Use within two days.

I will update with pictures once I’ve made them, but I have made similar truffles previously and they were delicious! Here you can see my full christmas menu and feel free to follow me on facebook, twitter and instagram.

Vegan Smoked Salmon | Christmas Dinner

Although I used to like smoked salmon back in my pre-vegan days, but to be honest it always gave me the shivers a little, was it raw? I’m not even sure! However, it was a classic at Christmas for me, and in the spirit of my fairly traditional menu I decided to attempt to recreate a recipe for vegan smoked salmon in it’s original form here.

Vegan Smoked Salmon

Ingredients

  • 2 Carrots
  • 2 Tbsp Miso Paste
  • 1 Tsp Liquid Smoke
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 sheet of Nori

Method

Use a vegetable/potato peeler to cut carrots into thin long strips. Place in a small baking dish.

vegan smoked salmon

Combine all remaining ingredients in a blender into a paste. Pour over the carrots.

Cover the dish with a tight cover of aluminium foil.

Bake at 200 Celsius (190 fan, 400 Fahrenheit) for around 10 minutes.

Reduce temperature to 100 Celsius (90 fan, 200 Fahrenheit) and bake for about 45 minutes.

vegan smoked salmon

Remove from oven, take carrot out of broth and refrigerate in an airtight container for at least an hour, or overnight.

vegan smoked salmon

I served this with crackers and vegan cream cheese for one of my starters in my Christmas meal. Although not quite like the traditional smoked salmon, it was a great stand in which I will definitely be making again. 

Stuffed Seitan Roast | Christmas Dinner

This stuffed seitan roast is probably the hardest thing I made this Christmas. It could quite possibly be one of the hardest things I’ve ever made. Following is the recipe, it’s worth the effort, this seitan roast was the centrepiece of the whole meal.

Stuffed Seitan Roast

Ingredients

Stuffing:

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 180g thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 2 thinly sliced medium leeks (only white and light green parts)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Black pepper
  • 60g thinly slices pre-cooked chestnuts
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 250g homemade breadcrumbs (or 125g pre-made breadcrumbs)
  • 70ml vegetable stock
  • Juice of half a lemon

Seitan:

  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 300g cooked pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 350ml vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g vital wheat gluten
  • 1tsbp fennel seeds
  • 1tsp sweet paprika
  • 1tsp dried thyme
  • 1tsp dried sage
  • Black pepper

Method

Filling:

Sautee mushrooms and leeks in sunflower oil until soft. Add salt, pepper, chestnut slices, garlic and thyme. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring often so nothing burns or sticks to the pan.

Sprinkle in breadcrumbs. The mixture will thicken and begin to look dough like. Drizzle in stock and lemon juice, stir so mixture soaks up moisture, then set aside, ready to use.

stuffed seitan roast

Seitan:

Pre-heat oven to 170 Celsius, (325 Fahrenheit, 160 fan). In a food processor mix garlic, beans, stock, soy sauce and oil until it looks like a sauce.

In a large bowl mix wheat gluten, herbs and spices. Make a well in the middle and mix in the bean sauce. Use a spoon, it will eventually resemble dough.

stuffed seitan roast

Get 2 sheets of foil, both similar in size to a broadsheet newspaper.  Lay them down horizontally, and overlap them by about 10 cm (4 inches). They will wrap the roast.

On a large board or surface, roll out seitan to a 25cm x 30cm rectangle shape. It may be stretched out in areas, taken seitan from the edges to patch up if needed.

stuffed seitan roast

Place stuffing filling in the lower third of the dough, leaving around 4 cm (2 inches) of space at the bottom.

stuffed seitan roast

Roll the seitan up from the filling end, keep rolling until you reach the end and it makes a log shape. When finished rolling, pinch the ends and sides to keep the stuffing in.

Move the roll over to the tin foil, so the seam is in the middle of the roll. Roll it up in the tin foil and ensure the ends are tightly wrapped.

Move it to a large baking tray and cook in the oven for around 90 minutes, possibly 2 hours. Turn it every 20 minutes so it cooks evenly.

stuffed seitan roast

Test the roll 90 minutes in. It should be firm and withstand poking, bouncing back like a loaf of cooked bread. If still soft cook for another 20 minutes then test again. When ready, peel back the foil and allow for it to rest for 5 minutes.

christmas dinner

The seitan is in the centre of this picture, I served with gravy and bread sauce, the recipe this is reproduced from also has an apricot glaze and pinenuts, but I think I’ll just stick with the gravy. This stuffed seitan roast is the main course for my meal. Although this dish is a little time consuming I definitely recommend it if you are into seitan. The stuffing was also delicious. 10/10, would make again.  Here you can view my entire Christmas menu for further ideas.

Vegan Christmas Menu | Menu Planning

Christmas is only one week away! How did that happen! I’m not religious, but for me Christmas for me is one of the best days of the year. There is something magical about Christmas. My sad note is that my mum and dad are no longer with me, but my mother in law is coming to stay with us on Christmas Eve through to Boxing Day, and thankfully I get on with her very well, so I’m really looking forward to it.

One of the best things about Christmas for me is the food. I grew up with my dad doing the whole thing himself, priding himself on his huge Christmas spread, then, when I grew up I did the same thing. I made the same exact food, in the same exact way. Then, I went vegan shortly before last years Christmas Dinner. This caused me to rethink my Christmas planning drastically!

For last years Christmas dinner I used a pre-made nut roast, but this year I’ve decided to go a little more out there. So following is my Vegan Christmas Menu! Recipes and results will be appearing over the next week or so as I make them.

Vegan Christmas Menu

Breakfast

  • Bagels with fry’s sausages and potato scones
  • Cereal and Fruit

Starter

  • Smoked “Salmon” and cream “cheese” on crackers
  • Spicy Parsnip Soup with crusy bread

Dinner

  • Mushroom, Leek and Chestnut stuffed seitan roast
  • Tofurkey Roast
  • Vegan Sausage rolls
  • Vegan sausages wrapped in vegan rashers
  • Rosemary roast potatoes
  • Maple Carrots and Parsnips
  • Carrot and Turnip mash
  • Yorkshire Puddings
  • Brussel Sprouts with Chestnuts
  • Stuffing
  • Gravy, Cranberry Jelly and Bread Sauce

Pudding

  • Christmas Pudding and Alpro Cream
  • Mince Pies

Snacks

  • Chocolate and Avocado Truffles
  • Mushroom and Thyme Tartlets
  • Nuts, Crisps, Mint Chocolates
  • Vegan Cheese with Crackers

So there you have it, my Vegan Christmas Menu. Hopefully it all goes smoothly, early this week I will work out timings for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day before the cooking starts.

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