Tag: Vegan

Vegetable Korma (Vegan)

Vegetable Korma (Vegan)

It’s over! 2 terms of hard-core Made in Dagenham drama came to an end last night in spectacular fashion and so now I’m heading back to the land of normality and degree stuff. There’s always a bit of a withdrawal after finishing a big show and so I’m trying to find lots of other things to keep me occupied (namely other shows, more art and a lot more baking!)

I’m not a very spicy gal, but I do love a good korma. There’s something charmingly subtle about the creamy blend of aromas flooding out of a dish like this. They flow out into the kitchen and like a culinary alarm clock let you know that wonders are soon to be coming out of the pan (I confess to being a little sleep deprived at the time of writing – I apologise). I normally go for a chicken korma, but since vegaunary I’ve found a strange fondness for vegetable curries like this one, and so now it’s my new fave!

Recipe

Serves 8

Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 Small butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp Sunflower oil
  • 1 Medium sized potato
  • 1 Small cauliflower
  • 1 Corgette
  • 1 Red pepper
  • 1 Large onion
  • 1 thumbsize piece of Root ginger
  • 4 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100g Chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Curry powder
  • 1 tbsp Garam masala
  • 5 tsp Ground cumin
  • 5 tsp Ground coriander
  • 5 tsp Ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Ground cloves
  • ½ tsp Chilli flakes
  • 400ml Coconut milk
  • ½ cup Cashews
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Brown sugar

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C. Cut the squash in half and then place on a baking tray, cut side face up. Brush with a little of the oil and then put in the oven for about 30 minutes until soft.
  2. Now prep the other veg. Peel the potato and cut it into chunks. Then take the leaves off the cauliflower and break it up into florets.
  3. Bring a large pan of water up to the boil and add the potato and cauliflower chunks. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until soft but not mushy. Drain and then leave to one side until needed.
  4. Take the ends off the courgette and pepper. Take the seeds out of the pepper and then cut it into small strips. Halve and then quarter the courgette lengthways and then cut into chunks.
  5. Put the oil into a large pan and place over a medium heat. Add the pepper and courgette and fry for 5-10 minutes until the courgette is starting to go translucent and soft. Tip into a bowl and leave until needed.
  6. Next start making the sauce. Peel the onion and then finely dice it. Add it to the pan you cooked the pepper in and fry for a few minutes until starting to caramelise.
  7. Meanwhile peel the ginger and garlic. Then grate the ginger and crush the garlic and add it to the onions. Fry for another 2-3 minutes.
  8. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and spices to the mix and simmer for a couple of minutes until starting to reduced. Then add the coconut milk, lemon juice and cashews and leave to simmer for another 5 minutes until the cashews have softened.
  9. Take a hand blender and blend the sauce until smooth. Then add the brown sugar, salt and pepper to season, and the vegetables. Stir to combine and then serve with rice and naan bread!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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Salted Caramel Peanut Bread (Vegan)

Salted Caramel Peanut Bread (Vegan)

Not gonna lie, this week has been tough. I’m used to over committing myself – it’s kinda become a defining feature of my personality – but now I’m being chased up a hill on roller-skates by several angry monsters called degree, sleep and mental-well-being. The only thing keeping me vaguely grounded are the amazing friends I have who are there to scrape me up off the floor, turn me around and put me back the in game (you know who you are and I’m so so grateful!).

If things stopped for a second or two I know I’d want to be back in the kitchen, letting out all my woes on some unfortunate bread dough like this and then devouring it as soon as it’d cooled down enough for me to eat it. I made this back at the start of Veganuary and thus it can be 100% vegan! So whether you’re a hardcore meat-eater or a strong and proud vegan, as long as you’re not allergic to nuts this is the bread for you!

So back unto the breach. Back into the storm. See you on the other side!

Recipe

Makes 1 Large loaf

Time: 2 hours, plus proving and baking time

Ingredients

  • 400g Strong white bread flour
  • 1 ½ tsp Salt
  • 40g Caster sugar
  • 45g Butter (or dairy-free spread)
  • 10g Fast action dried yeast
  • 130ml Milk (or dairy-free alternative)

For the caramel peanut filling

  • 300g Granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp Water
  • 240g Dairy-free spread
  • 5g Salt
  • 200g Dairy-free cream (e.g coconut or soya cream)
  • 200g Peanuts (unsalted if adding the 5g salt in as above)

Method

  1. First make the bread dough. Put the flour, salt, sugar, butter, yeast, milk and 120ml water into a large bowl and mix together to form a lumpy dough.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and stretchy (about 10 minutes).
  3. Put the dough into a clean bowl and cover with cling film. Then set to one side to rise until doubled in size (about an hour).
  4. Now make the salted caramel filling. Put the sugar and water into a large pan and cook on a low heat until the mixture starts to turn a golden amber colour. Do not mix at this stage or the caramel will crystallise.
  5. Add the dairy-free spread (or butter) to the mixture (be careful as it will splatter!) and mix it in with a wooden spoon.
  6. Add the salt to the mixture and then cook for another 2 minutes on a low heat.
  7. Take the pan off the heat and add the cream. Mix until well combined, then mix in the peanuts and set aside to cool.
  8. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 seconds to knock the air out. Then shape the dough into a rectangle and roll it out to a rectangle that’s 25 x 33 cm.
  9. Spread the cooled salted peanut mixture over the dough and then roll it up like a swiss roll from long edge to long edge.
  10. Cut the dough in half length ways so you have two long strips. Then twist the strips over each other, trying to keep the open half facing the top.
  11. Wrap the dough into a ring, pressing the ends of the dough together and then place onto a lined baking tray, cover loosely with clingfilm and leave to prove for another hour until doubled in size.
  12. Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C. Bake the dough for 25-30 minutes until risen and golden brown.
  13. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack to cool and then serve!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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Baked Potatoes with a Chickpea Curry

Baked Potatoes with a Chickpea Curry

ONE DAY MORE!! (You could say the musical bug has bitten me hard in the past few days) Just one more day until I can return to the blissful lands of cheese, chocolate and scrambled eggs. I’m so so set for a good mac and cheese right now! I’ve really enjoyed being vegan, and despite the awkward repeats of ‘I’m sorry, I’m a vegan’ at almost every offer of food, it’s been a fun challenge. However with the frenzy everyday life and the challenge of eating in college, come the 1st Feb I’ll be reverting back to vegetarianism.

With things past comes things learnt, so here’s the 3 most important things I’ve learnt from my vegan month:

  1. Chickpeas are life – I definitely couldn’t have lived without these this month! From hummus, to aquafaba to straight old chickpeas in something like this, they’re a real useful staple in a vegan diet – especially as they’re so versatile.
  2. Flavour is underrated – I’ve also found that it’s really important not to compromise on flavour just because you’re limited to plants. So often I was eating bland vegetables with hummus and pita bread, which whilst delicious does lack an oomph of flavour and it made meals really dull and limp. This does use a lot of spices, which I understand that if you’re on a budget you might not be able to get them all, but even some pre-made spice mixes and paprika can be a really good way of getting flavour punched into your meals.
  3. Food food and more food – Most importantly this month I had to remind myself just to keep eating and that there was a lot more out there that I could eat than I originally thought (Oreos and Jelly Tots are vegan – take note!). In the first few days I was either starving or living on carbs, but neither made me feel at all satisfied. But as soon as you’ve found your niche in the vegan food world you forget your restircted diet and just start getting on with life!

Recipe

Serves 2 (plus extra chickpea mix!)

Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 Large potatoes
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 Onion
  • 9 Garlic cloves
  • A thumb sized piece of root ginger
  • 1 tbsp Ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp Ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp Garam masala
  • 1 tsp Ground paprika
  • 2 tbsp Tomato puree
  • 800g Chickpeas
  • 400g Chopped tomatoes
  • 100g Creamed coconut
  • 100g Spinach to serve

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C. Microwave the potatoes for 15 minutes on a high heat and then put them into the oven for about 30 minutes until crispy on the outside.
  2. Now make the paste for the curry. Peel and finely chop the onion. Then put the oil and chopped onion into a pan and fry for about 8 minutes until softened.
  3. Spoon the mixture into a food processor and add the peeled garlic, peeled ginger, and ground spices. Then add the tomato puree, onions and a pinch of salt and blitz to a smooth paste.
  4. Transfer the paste back into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes over a medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the chickpeas and the chopped tomatoes. Stir to mix and then leave to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the coconut and 2 tbsp water and simmer the mixture for another couple of minutes.
  7. Serve with the baked potato and spinach!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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Kat’s Vegan Chocolate Cookies

Kat’s Vegan Chocolate Cookies

In true Oxford style term is getting insanely intense and stressful; I have this toxic habit of over-committing myself and yet still being surprised when I suddenly hit a wall of stress a few weeks later! On the plus side I’m having a blast and loving every second, but as there’re no signs of anything quieting down in the near future I’m gonna have to keep relying on snacks to keep me going. One of my main go-to mood boosters are cookies because they’re so easy to snack on during rehearsals and they give a much needed sugar kick. I have this one friend who’s obsessed with cookies in a way worryingly similar to that of a crack addict – which I guess just goes to show how perfect they can be for stressful times! – and whilst I’m not quite that bad I’ll still never say no to a decent cookie.

This recipe was given to me by my friend (and fellow vegan for 1 week) Kat (hence Kat’s vegan cookies). I’ve never really used coconut oil before as it’s a bit on the pricey side to be a student staple, but it gives these a really gorgeous moistness and a slight coconut creamy overtone that works beautifully with the chocolate. Another wonder of pretty much any biscuit mix is that you can freeze the dough so you can bake however many you need whenever you need them. I find freezing batches of this cookie dough in large ice cube trays is perfect, because then you can just pop out however many blobs of dough you need as and when you need them.

Recipe

Makes 18

Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 112g Coconut oil
  • 70g Brown sugar
  • 70g White sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 125g Plain flour
  • 80g Cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Dairy free milk (e.g soy or almond)

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C. Then line two trays with baking paper.
  2. Cream the coconut oil with the sugars, using a wooden spoon in a large bowl until pale and creamy. Then Add the vanilla and mix it in.
  3. Sift the dry ingredients into the wet and then mix everything together until a soft crumbly dough forms.
  4. Add the dairy free milk and then mix again until the dough forms a smooth ball.
  5. Roll the dough into balls and place them on your lined baking trays, making sure they’re well spaced so they don’t spread into each other.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, until they’ve spread an are starting to crisp at the corners. They’ll firm up as they cool so you want the middle to still be a little squidgy.
  7. Take out the oven, leave to cool and then enjoy!

Thanks for reading!
Emma x

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Crispy fried tofu with sweet potato chips and spicy mexican rice

Crispy fried tofu with sweet potato chips and spicy mexican rice

Say hello to the big bowl of orange stuff! Yes it’s fairly monochromatic, but who says that a good bowl of food has to be technicolor eh? Since becoming vegan I’ve really missed punchy flavour. So often I end up with just a bowl of veg or a piece of fruit and I think it’s kinda numbed my taste buds. Then I came across Uncle Ben’s rice pouches the other day and it was a true hallelujah chorus moment! They take 2 minutes in the microwave and come out all flavoursome, warm and tasty.

Another sticky point with veganism is the lack of protein sources. I know Huel is a popular choice at the moment, but I’m not that desperate so instead I’ve turned to tofu – a pretty flavourless, jelly-like soy curd. In the past when I’ve had tofu it’s been pretty grim, so I’ve tried my best to get some flavour and texture into it for this dish and I think deep frying it to get a crispy outside is really effective! Especially when served with the rice, it makes a really firey, balanced meal – (And add some sweet potato chips because lets be honest, they improve everything).

Recipe

Serves 1

Time: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Small sweet potato
  • 100ml Sunflower or vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 30g Cornflour
  • 40g Plain flour
  • 1 tbsp Paprika
  • 100g Tofu
  • 1 packet of Uncle Ben’s spicey Mexican rice

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C. Roughly chop the sweet potato into batons, with the skin on.
  2. Put the potato into a small roasting tin and drizzle with ½ tbsp of the oil. Then season with a little salt and pepper. Put into the oven to roast for 15-20 minutes until starting to brown and crisp. Stir around the tin every now and then to get an even roast.
  3. Now move onto the tofu. Put the cornflour, flour and paprika into a shallow bowl or dish and mix together. Add a little salt and pepper and mix these in.
  4. Cut the tofu into 1cm cubes and then toss them in the flour mixture. Leave the cubes for a couple of minutes whilst you prepare the oil.
  5. Put the rest of the oil into a large saucepan or medium sized frying pan. Place over a medium heat and wait until it gets pipping hot. If you have any herbs to hand you can put one into the oil to check the temperature. If the oil bubbles and spits when the leaf is added it’s ready.
  6. Toss the tofu in the flour mixture again as the moisture from the tofu might have made the flour wet. Then carefully add the tofu cubes to the hot oil and fry for 15-30 seconds on each side until crisp and golden brown.
  7. Transfer the cubes to a plate covered in kitchen roll and then move onto the rice.
  8. Cook the rice according to the packet’s instructions. Then serve with the tofu cubes and the sweet potato chips. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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