Lemon and Herb “Cheese” Spread

 

Nutritional yeast, if you’ve not heard of it you might be wondering what in the world is that? It’s a deactivated yeast that adds a slightly nutty or tangy flavour to savoury dishes. I grabbed my first tin of it about a year ago. To say I was a little sceptical is an understatement,  but it didn’t take long to get me hooked. It resembles commercial fish food flakes but don’t be put of by this, please. It adds such a delicious tang a je ne sais quoi that I sprinkle it onto  just about every savoury dish I can.

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This recipe here my friends is gold. A vegan cheese spread perfect for those with milk allergies/intolerances or for those just trying to reduce the amount of animal products in their diet (go you!). I’ve tried a lot (A LOT) of the commercial vegan cheese brands and have found the majority to be unpalatable, inedible in fact. Having searched several recipes for a vegan cheese spread and several attempts at making  it I think I cracked it here.

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Lemon and Herb “Cheese Spread”

Ingredients

400g Firm Tofu

4 tablespoon Nutritional Yeast

1 large Garlic Clove crushed

2 tablespoons of Lemon Zest

6-8 tablespoons of Lemon Juice

½  teaspoon Salt

¼ teaspoon Black Pepper

½ cup Chives, finely chopped

¼ cup Parsley, finely chopped

Method

Place all of the above ingredients into the large bowl of a food processor, start with 6 tablespoons of lemon juice and add extra to your own taste. Whizz everything together until everything is combined and  you have a relatively smooth “cheese”.

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Delicious served on toast or mixed though vegetables or pasta, just like you would any other cheese really. Hope you enjoy!

Note* Keeps for a week, stored in the fridge in an airtight container.

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Rice and Beans

Having encouraged my other half to adopt meat free Monday I’m having to keep on my toes to ensure I have him hooked.  This isn’t because I can’t cook vegetarian food but because he doesn’t like anything he classes as mushy i.e. lentils or spicy i.e. curry (unless it’s tikka masala). A spicy lentil dahl is one of my favourite vegetarian meals so this makes things a little tricky. Step in rice and beans. It may not be the most beautiful dish but it’s deliciously  filling and bursting with flavour (and not spicy).

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I am so in love with this dish I can’t even tell you. I made it as an experiment and it turned out so good I just had to share. It’s perfect served with some steamed greens or a big green salad to make a fairly well balanced, plant based, satisfying meal in less than 30 minutes.

Rice and Beans

Ingredients

1 tablespoon of Coconut Oil (You can use any oil but I’m just keeping the theme going)

1 Medium White Onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of Garlic, crushed

1 cup of Brown Basmatti Rice

2 cups of Cooked Black Beans*

3-4 sprigs of Fresh Thyme

1 Bay Leaf

1 teaspoon of Salt

½ teaspoon of Black Pepper

½ teaspoon of Ground All Spice

1 can of Coconut Milk (I use this one from Biona)

1 cup of Water

*If you’re cooking the black beans from scratch add 1 cup of dried Black Beans into 3 cups of cold water. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for approximately 2 hours. Just check the individual packet instructions in case this differs.

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Method

  • Place a heavy based pot over a medium heat. Add the coconut oil and allow to melt and heat through. Then add in the onion and salt and cook for 5 minutes or so until soft.
  • Add in the garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, don’t let it burn.
  • The next step is hard, add in all the remaining ingredients. Give it a good stir, place the lid on the pot and bring to simmer, the lower the heat so that it just gently bubbles away.
  • Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is nice and tender. Just check  every now and then to make sure the mixture doesn’t go dry. Then remove from the heat, keep the lid on and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes fluff the rice up and serve with your side of choice, I recommend greens!

Enjoy! x x

Salted Chocolate Almond Granola

This my friends is going to transform every smoothie, porridge and yoghurt bowl you have from here on out.  Combining chocolate, nut butter and oats can only end in a glorious flavour sensation right?

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Although I say this is a granola I think of it more as a breakfast sprinkle.  It’s calorically dense so I wouldn’t recommend eating a whole bowl of it, but that’s just my opinion! It’s pretty easy to get your hands on almond butter these days but if you can’t find it this would be equally as good using any other nuts or nut butter.

Salted Chocolate Almond Granola

Ingredients

2 cups of Oats

2 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder (I use Green and Black’s)

½ teaspoon Sea Salt Flakes

½ cup Almonds, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons of Almond Butter

2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil

¼ cup Maple Syrup

1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Optional: 2 tablespoon of Cacao Nibs

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Method

  • Preheat oven to 160℃
  • Mix the oats, cocoa, sea salt and almonds in a large mixing bowl.
  • Place almond butter, coconut oil and maple syrup into a small saucepan over a low heat. Stir until everything is melted and combined.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and add in the vanilla extract, stirring though.
  • Now pour the liquid mixture over the bowl of dry ingredients, mix together until all of the nuts and oats are covered in the delicious nut butter mixture.
  • Place on a baking tray, spreading in an even layer, and pop into the oven for 30 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes take the granola out, give it a stir and then pop it back in for the final 15 minutes.
  • When the granola is done remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • One cool stir though the optional cacao nibs or any other additions you like!

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Store in an airtight container for up to a week, if it last that long!

Chocolate and Stem Ginger Overnight Oats

Another week another overnight oats (ONO) recipe. I appreciate ONO are not the most complicated thing in the world to make, so apologies if my constant bombardment of recipes and photographs bore you. I’m kind of sorry not sorry.

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I have a massive sweet tooth, which I was in denial of for many years, so I’m all over anything which resembles dessert for breakfast. I love my plain old overnight oats and I eat them most mornings in summer but it’s nice to jazz things up a bit, especially for the weekend! If you want to make this extra chocolatey I recommend using CoYo chocolate yoghurt alternative, so good.

Chocolate and Stem Ginger Overnight Oats (Serves 2-3)

Ingredients:

1 cup Oats

3 tablespoons Cacao

1 teaspoon Ground Ginger

½ teaspoon Cinnamon

½ Cup of Yoghurt

½ cup Milk

3 tablespoons of Stem Ginger, Chopped

1 tablespoon Ginger Syrup, from the ginger jar

Pinch of Salt

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Method:

  • Place the oats, cacao, ground ginger and cinnamon into a mixing bowl and give it a stir.
  • Add in the yoghurt, milk, syrup and chopped ginger.
  • Stir until everything is combined. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours, overnight is best!
  • Serve with any toppings you like, fresh fruit, cacao nibs, go wild!

Sweetcorn Fritters

These sweet and spicy sweetcorn fritters are one of my staples. I love my sweet breakfasts (hello overnight oats) but these savoury pancakes make a welcome addition to the brunch table. They can be whipped up in minutes making them perfect for when I’m in need of something delicious but running short on time. Double up the recipe and you have lunch for tomorrow!

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Sweetcorn Fritters (Serves 2)

Ingredients:

1 Cup Sweetcorn

1 large Egg

½ teaspoon of fresh red chilli

1 spring Onion

2 tablespoons of Fresh Coriander

¼ cup Flour

¼ teaspoon Salt

½ teaspoon Baking Powder

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Method:

  • Hold aside ⅓ cup of sweetcorn.
  • Roughly chop the chilli, spring onion and coriander and place in a blender with   ⅔  cup of sweetcorn, egg, flour, salt and baking powder.Blend until you have a thick smooth batter.
  • Stir in the remaining sweetcorn you set aside
  • Place a small amount of oil in a frying pan and place over a medium heat.
  • Add small amounts of batter (about 2 tablespoons per fritter, but make them bigger if you want) to the pan to make your fritter.
  • Once golden on one side, about 3-4 minutes, flip and cook for about 2 minutes on the other side.
  • Serve with a poached egg on top, delicious!!

Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower is having a revival, and boy did it need it. I don’t think there is anything worse than being served boiled cauliflower? Possibly boiled cabbage, it’s a close call. As much as I am enjoying cauliflowers increasing popularity there are places where I will draw the line. These include using it in baking of any kind, adding it to breakfast oats and making into cauliflower “pizza”. I’m all about making healthier options but the cauliflower pizza thing is just nonsense, just go have an actual pizza and enjoy it. Anyway enough of what I don’t like and onto what I do like. Roasted Cauliflower.

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Seasoning and roasting the cauliflower just takes it to next level deliciousness. You could of course just have the cauliflower roasted as it is but I like to make it into a salad, if anything just so that I can have leftovers. There’s nothing too overly fancy here. If you can’t get your hands on a decent pomegranate use raisins or chopped dried apricots, something sweet to contrast the savouriness of the cauliflower. I wouldn’t have this as a stand alone salad but served out with a few other favourites to make a salad lovers buffet heaven.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Ingredients:

800g Cauliflower (approximately 2 x heads), cut into bite size florets.

2 tablespoons of Olive Oil

1 Garlic Clove, crushed

1 teaspoon of Turmeric

½ teaspoon of Cumin Seeds

¼ teaspoon of Sea Salt

¼ cup Pomegranate Seeds

2 tablespoons of Lemon Juice

2 tablespoons of Parsley, chopped

1 Tablespoon of Mint, chopped

¼ Cup of Flaked Almonds

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Method:

  • Preheat the oven 200 ℃
  • Place the cauliflower florets into a large baking sheet.
  • In a bowl mix the oil, garlic, turmeric cumin seeds and salt together. The pour this mixture over the cauliflower. Get your hands in there and give everything a good mix until all the florets are coated with the golden dressing.
  • Place the cauliflower in the oven for 20-30 minutes, tossing halfway through the cooking,  until it is golden and cooked through.
  • Once ready remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • While the cauliflower is cooling toast the almonds. I do this by putting them in a  frying pan over low flame, stirring every couple of minute until they become lightly golden around the edges.
  • Once cooled tip the cauliflower into a mixing bowl adding in the remainder of the ingredients. Give everything a good mix until everything is mixed through evenly.
  • Place onto a serving dish, sprinkle with a bit more parsley and tuck in.

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I like to eat this at room temperature though sometimes I’ll admit I haven’t the patience. As always I would love to know if you make this and of course welcome any feedback!

Tahini and Rose Fudge

I used to only ever have tahini with savoury foods- the usual suspects of hummus and baba ganoush. However,more recently I’ve been lobbing it onto just about anything, sweet food included. I don’t know what happened, if it was subliminal messaging or what but I just got a hankering for the stuff one day and decided to go with it. The bitterness of the tahini pairs so well with anything sweet, particularly fruit (fresh or dried), but it’s even better with honey.

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I decided to keep things plant based and pretty simple here. The addition of rose water gives a little something extra but be VERY careful you don’t add too much. Otherwise you’ll end up with soap flavoured fudge on your hands. Now I don’t like waste but even I wouldn’t eat that.

Yes it’s plant based but it’s still high in fat and high in sugar, full disclosure here. As with any sweet treat “free from” or not portion control will keep you right. Though I will admot it’s hard with these little fellows.

Tahini and Rose Fudge

Ingredients:

¼ cup of Tahini

¼ cup of Cashew Butter

¼ Cup of Coconut Oil

¼ Cup of Honey

¼ teaspoon of Sea Salt Flakes e.g Maldon Salt, plus additional to sprinkle on top.

A few drops of Rose Water

Optional: Rose petals to decorate.

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Method:

  • Line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
  • Place all the ingredients, except the rosewater, into a  heavy based saucepan. Put the pan over a low flame on the hob and let everything melt together.
  • Once everything is melted and combined, add in your rosewater. Start with a drop or two and then increase to your own taste.
  • Pour the fudge mixture into a loaf tin into the loaf tin, sprinkle on some additional sea salt and optional rose petals.
  • Put the fudge in the fridge and allow to chill for at least and hour until it’s set enough for you to slice.

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This fudge doesn’t like heat so try not to over handle it or leave it sitting at room temperature too long. II urge you to make this, such a tasty little treat to have waiting in the fridge, all made with minimal effort.

Lemon and Almond Cookies

It’s no secret that I love lemons, I’ll add lemon zest into pretty much anything I can, sweet or savoury. I made these cookies after a clear out of my cupboards uncovered several open bags of ground almonds with no more than a few tablespoons in each. Never one to waste anything I set about making these cookies and they turned out not so bad at all. They’re so quick and easy to make you’d be foolish not to try them at least once.

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Don’t be fooled by the ingredients list. A cookie is still a cookie and these cookies still have free sugars and they still have fat. Basically enjoy them in moderation and don’t go eating the whole batch on me.  These are perfect with an afternoon (large) coffee, crumbled over Greek yoghurt or served hugging a great big scoop of ice cream. 

Lemon and Almond Cookies  (Makes 12)

1 Cup of Ground Almonds

Zest of 1 Unwaxed Lemon, approximately ½ a tablespoon

⅛ teaspoon of Salt

¼ teaspoon Vanilla Extract

3 tablespoon of Coconut Oil or Butter

2 tablespoons of Honey

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  • Preheat the oven to 180℃. Line  baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place the almond, lemon zest and salt in a mixing bowl.
  • Place the coconut oil and honey in a pot over a medium heat and melt together. Once melted remove from the heat and add in the vanilla extract.
  • Add the these wet ingredient in on top of the almond mixture and stir until everything is combined.
  • Divide the dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball between your hands and flatten slightly. Place on the lined baking tray and then flatten each biscuit with the back of  fork making a criss cross pattern on top.
  • Place the biscuits in the preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until the are slightly golden.
  • Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly and then place on a wire rack to cool.

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These are actually my favourite little treat at the moment. Give them a go and if you make them tag me #foodiedee. I’d love to see any recreations! Have great weekend! X x

Carrot Cake Oats

I love a good variation on porridge and this is my current favourite. I don’t want to say I got sick of my creamy banana oats but I certainly needed a change. I made a batch of these totally off the cuff one morning when my parents were visiting, they were a hit. I have since taste tested them on two other victims and they have thankfully survived and given their approval.

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I’ve been making extra big batches of this and simply eating it straight from the fridge as a snack. Yep, I enjoy cold porridge. I think this came about through necessity and it just grew on me. That said I would definitely recommend serving these hot, admittedly cold porridge is not to everyone’s taste.

I love to add a good drizzle of honey for some extra sweetness and sprinkle of crushed walnuts to add a good crunch.  

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Carrot Cake Oats (Serves 2-3)

Ingredients

Base:

  • 1 cup of Oats
  • 2 -2½  Cups of Milk ( I love rice milk for it’s natural sweetness)
  • 1 cup of Grated Carrot
  • ⅓  cup of Raisins
  • 2  teaspoons of Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of freshly grated Nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • ½  teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 tablespoon of Orange Zest

Optional toppings:

  • 1/2 cup Walnuts, Crushed
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Honey

 

Method

  • Place all ingredients for the base into a medium size pot. Stir until combined.
  • Place the pot on the hob over a medium low flame. Stir the porridge continuously until most of the milk is absorbed, this takes 5-10 minutes. I like my porridge on the thin side. Once you have reached your desired consistency remove the pot from the stove.
  • Pour the porridge into serving bowls and top with some crushed walnuts and a good drizzle of honey.

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This really is one of the most comforting things you could have for breakfast. Without being cliché ,but totally being, you can really have your cake and eat it.

Have a lovely weekend x x

Chocolate Ginger Slice

It’s the festive season which means the season of excessive consumption of tasty treats is upon us.  I’m all up for indulging in this party season but I also don’t want to come out the other side feeling like a bloated lump. As much as I would like to indulge everyday my body just can’t cope with that, compromises will have to be made. I still want to enjoy a chocolatey treat but unfortunately I’ve had to knock diving head first into a tin of roses off my to do list.

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These bars are filling a void and are are oh so very good.When I was in Berlin some moons ago  I bought some raw vegan lebkuchen to bring home with me. After one taste I couldn’t stop and ended up bringing home 2 as opposed to 8. These bars are the closest thing I’ve got to those delicious little “biscuits”.  The ground ginger adds a beautiful warmth which just gives these bars that extra umph! I’ve stuck with ginger alone here to spice these bars because sometimes less is more. I’m also trying to avoid putting cinnamon as an ingredient in every recipe I write.

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So here they are………..

Chocolate Ginger Slice (Makes 8 squares)

Base Ingredients:

1 cup of pitted Medjool Dates

1/3 Cup of Almonds

1/3 Cup of Oats

1/3 Cup Dessicated Coconut

1 tablespoon of Cacao, I use this.

2 tablespoons of Cacao Nibs, plus extra for decoration if desired.

1 tablespoon of Maple Syrup

1-2 teasponns of Ground Ginger, start with 1 and increase depeinding in how fiery you like it.

Topping Ingredients:

1/2 Cup of good quality Dark Chocolate

1 teaspoon of Coconut Oil

1/4 teaspoon of Salt

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Method:

  • Place the almonds into your food processor and blitz until they form a fine crumb.
  • Next it’s as easy as adding in the rest of base ingredients. Place the remaining base ingredients into the processor and blitz until everything is combined. It should form a sticky crumble that holds together when pressed between your fingers.
  • Take a small baking tin or a large loaf tin and line with baking paper.
  •  Tip the base ingredients into the lined tin press  down to form one nice smooth, compact layer.
  • Now get on with the topping. Simply place the chocolate, coconut oil and salt together in a pot and melt over a very low heat.
  • Once the chocolate is melted pour this over the base layer and spread out so the base is completely covered. Then sprinkle on some extra cacao nibs.
  • Place in the fridge and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Take the slice out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you want to slice it. Then take a warm knife ( I hold a large knife over the steam of a kettle, this along with the coconut oil means that the chocolate won’t crack as you slice it.) and slice the bar into 8 squares

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Now make a cup of tea, snuggle up on the sofa and tuck in!

Hope you enjoy x x