Chocolate Cream Pie // Vegan
17 / 06 / 2018
Chocolate Cream Pie, what a sight. This stuff is probably what they serve at the gates of heaven. Smooth custard-like chocolate filling, surrounded (like a warm hug) by a glorious biscuit base and topped with light cloud-like wafts of coconut cream and finished with flecks of pure dark pizzaz. Ok so maybe i'm reading too much into this creation, but it really is heavenly and I'm mighty proud at how fabulously close it looks and tastes to that which I was emulating (the Julie & Julia Child pie that is). It all comes together in a way that is sure to please anyone you care for - or infact I believe it has the power to sway your enemies... or just skeptics.
I've made a few chocolate pie's in my time, ranging from FAR TOOOOooo rich, too soft to too crumbly, or honestly, just way too sad looking. So you can count that this is a well researched pie.
Agar Agar is hands down sold in every health food store so don't think it's a super foreign ingredient that's hard to source. It's around the place.
The coconut whip is always a layer that I've had hesitations about during my past pie endeavors. This topping is fail-safe. FAIL-SAFE - wahoo I hear you cry. How do I do it? Well I use a mix of coconut milk, vegan cream cheese (Tofutti for example), vanilla and icing sugar which together work wonders to form a cream like layer of ya' dreams. The recipe is forgiving when it comes to the coconut milk you purchase because I know that not everyone has access to brands that ensure success (me included). So just make sure you buy a tin that's organic if possible and full fat (none of the fat-reduced, light stuff ok? Sweet.).
Now on with the recipe honeybunches !!
Makes 1 x 21cm (8 1/2) inch pie.
- 200g vegan cookies (Lotus Biscoff, Hobnobs or plain Digestives for example)
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup vegan butter (or coconut oil if you'd prefer)
- 1/2 cup regular coconut milk (mixed), or any other plant milk
- 2 heaped tsp agar agar flakes (or 1 tsp of powder)
- 100g vegan dark chocolate, chopped
- 300g silken tofu
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp almond butter (or any nut butter)
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 x 400g tin full-fat coconut milk (chilled in the fridge for at least an hour)
- 2 heaped tbsp vegan cream cheese (e.g. Tofutti)
- 2 heaped tbsp icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- vegan dark chocolate, finely chopped or grated (for garnish)
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C and place a bowl in the freezer (the one that you are going to whip your cream layer in).
- Grab a food processor, and add the biscuits and salt, pulsing until they turn into a "dirt" like consistency.
- Melt the vegan butter, then add it to the cookie crumbs, pulsing again until evenly dispersed.
- Tip into your pie dish and press into all the corners and up the sides gently to form your crust. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes, then stand aside to cool and turn off your oven.
- While your crust is cooking, grab a small saucepan and add the coconut milk (or plant milk) and the agar agar flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes until the agar agar has mostly dissolved. Take off the heat and add the chocolate, whisking until melted and smooth.
- In the same food processor (no need to wash it), add the silken tofu, cocoa, almond butter, maple syrup, and melted chocolate mix. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides until it comes together. Pour into the prepared crust, smooth over the top, then move to the fridge to chill.
- Now make your top cream layer by first removing your cream whipping bowl from the freezer. In it, add only the hard cream substance from the top of your chilled can of coconut milk (none, or minimal of the water), saving the rest for a smoothie or curry etc. Then add the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla. Beat, with electric beaters until smooth (alternatively you could do this step in a blender) and then transfer to the fridge until the pie is cooled.
- Once the pie has cooled in the fridge enough that it's not hot. Pipe or spread the "cream" on top and finish with the shaved/grated/chopped chocolate. Refridgerate until chilled and then serve. Enjoy honeybunches !!
Hearty Mushroom Bourguignon // Vegan + RSF
17 / 06 / 2018
Bourguignon is something my dad decided to master when I was growing up. We had this French cookbook which was filled with un-beatable recipes and it came from that. It wasn't Julia Child's recipe but heck it tasted incredible. I've veganized the dish with oodles of success here honeybunches, and I'm telling you - if you're skeptical, you shall be surprised. It's seriously on-point flavour wise and will still make your house smell like a wintery welcoming cabin.
Plus, did I not mention it is soooo much easier and quicker than the original!!! No convoluted beef browning and braising necessary. So get excited honeybunches, it ticks all the boxes.
A few tips on the mushrooms you end up choosing,
- Choose larger (portobello work well) mushrooms, not button mushrooms for the best texture.
- Cut up your mushrooms in varying shapes and sizes for textural variety.
- Even if you're not the biggest fan of mushrooms they do shrink down, so don't be afraid of leaving some super chunky pieces in the mix.
- olive oil
- 1/2 cup (or desired amount) chopped vegan ham (I used Tofurky deli slices), optional
- 2 red onions, cut into wedges
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 400g portobello mushrooms (or desired variety), some cut into chunks and some sliced
- generous pinch of nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 1/2 cup chopped/crushed tomatoes
- 1 tbsp minced/crushed/chopped garlic
- 2 heaped tbsp plain flour (GF flour for a gluten-free bourguignon)
- 2 cups vegan "beef" stock (or vegetable)
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 bay leaves
- large handful parsley, chopped
- mashed potato, or pasta to serve with a few springs of rosemary
- Start by heating the olive oil in a large casserole type dish (or a deep pot would also work), then adding the vegan ham, onions and carrots - sauteing until the ham is golden and the veg slightly sauteed and caramelized (5-10 mins approx).
- Remove the ham and veg from the pan, setting it aside in a bowl until needed. Plop another glug of oil in the pan, then add half the mushrooms, sauteing until they brown and soften. Add the browned mushies to the veg when done, then repeat with the remaining mushrooms.
- Add all the browned mushrooms and veg back to the pan, then add the nutmeg, paprika and mixed herbs. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and garlic, stiring and cooking again for a couple of minutes.
- Add the flour, then turn the heat to low, stirring for a couple of minutes until the flour coats everything and cooks off a little.
- Add the stock a cup at a time, to gently de-glaze the base of the pan. Add the red wine as well to the pot and your bay leaves to finish. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, placing the lid on your pot and leaving to do it's thing for at least an hour. If you make this in the afternoon, it can be nice to let it simmer down for a couple of hours, reduce and develop in flavour and make all the veg as soft and succulant as possible.
- Season with salt & pepper before serving with some mashed potato or pasta noodles and a few sprigs of rosemary. Deeelicious.
Simple yet Incredible Tomato Bruschetta // Vegan + RSF
17 / 06 / 2018
Bruschetta is a phenomenon not to be sniffed at. Simplicity is often best and this concept embraces that to the hilt and definitely delivers. I've Julia and Julia-esqued this number and what you're left with is pretty darn top-notch.
I'll leave my two pence on bruschetta there because the pic kind of speaks for itself and you're here for the recipes (not my rambly intros) anyway.
Makes - as much as you want
- heirloom or cherry tomatoes (a large handful per person)
- balsamic vinegar
- olive oil
- basil leaves (a couple of leaves per person)
- baguette/sourdough - or bread of choice
- vegan butter
- olive oil
- Chop your tomatoes and plonk them in a bowl. You want them to be bite-sized, but also maybe varying in size and shape.
- Sprinkle generously with salt, add a drizzle each of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Snip in thin strips of the basil leaves and then toss the mixture until everything is well mixed. Set aside for at least 30 minutes at room temperature for the salt to do it's magic (aka draw out some of the liquid in the tomatoes).
- Prepare your toast when ready to eat by getting a fry-pan and adding a glug of olive oil and a knob of butter. Melt and swirl around the pan, then add your bread. Cook until crispy on both sides, moving to mop up the oil/butter when you turn.
- Top your toast with the tomatoes and eat up my friend.
Soft & Speedy Miso Eggplant // Vegan + RSF + GF
13 / 06 / 2018
I've had my fair share of narly eggplant over the years. Well I'm not that old and it's never been that bad, but eggplant is one of those things that people think they don't like only because they've had it under-cooked - something that is FAR too easy to do. So the answer is cooking it at a higher heat and for a wee bit longer than you think you need too and voila, douse it in a marinade and you'll be in aubergine heaven.
This Miso eggplant makes one mighty good midweek dinner that will have any and all who get to wrap their gobs around it, thoroughly impressed ! It's soft, flavourful and the eggplant just melts away into the dish so there's no real "hunks" of the stuff you have to suffer through. I promise you'll like it. All the best honeybunches xo
- 1 tbsp miso paste (I used white miso)
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 heaped tsp minced ginger
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sweet chilli sauce (optional)
- 2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
- 2 medium-sized eggplants
- a couple of pak choi if you want to whack in some green while you're at it
- cooked soba noodles and sesame seeds to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Make the marinade by mixing the miso with the next three ingredients until smooth in a medium-sized bowl, then adding the rest of the ingredients down to and including the tamari. A whisk helps get it nice and smooth.
- Prepare your eggplant by cutting down the middle length-ways, then scoring the interior of each half, like you would a mango cheek. Don't be afraid to make a lot of scores - this helps it to cook quickly and gives it more pockets for the marinade to ooze into.
- Prepare a baking sheet with baking paper and then pour the marinade into all the crevices and scores of the eggplant. This can be a messy process - but don't stress if it's not perfect, the marinade will ooze into all parts when it's in the oven anyway. Repeat with the other eggplant halves, using up all the marinade. If you have some left over just poor it ontop.
- Cook in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until thoroughly caramelised and golden brown. Add some pak choi in the last 10 minutes of cooking (roughly chopped or however you like), if using.
- Serve over some soba noodles and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds. Enjoy and devour !!
Freezer Snickers Slice // Vegan + RSF + GF + Oil Free
22 / 04 / 2018
This is such a delicious, scrumptious, handy recipe to make. If you like to have a small (but EPIC) little square of something after dinner, with a cup of tea, or whenever - then this is for you. This slice if best kept in the freezer for a cold (yet quick-to-defrost supply of "heaven-in-a-mouthful". These are so SO yummy and slightly peanutty, but even if you're not a MASSIVE peanut fan - I think you'll like them. Of course, it's not exactly like a Snickers bar, but it gets pretty close - and is so full of goodness so bottoms up and enjoy lovelies!!
Makes approx 36 little squares.
- 1 cup raw macadamias
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 2/3 cup rice malt syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup quick oats
- 1/2 desiccated coconut
- pinch of salt
- 2/3 cup dark vegan chocolate
- 2 tbsp cocoa butter
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
- 3-4 tbsp coconut milk
- In a food processor, blitz the first 8 ingredients into a sticky crumble/dough mixture. You want it to be quite smooth, so scrape down the sides if necessary.
- Press into a 20cm square tin (or similar, you can't go wrong), that's been lined with baking paper. Smooth off with your hands or with a spatula. Place in the freezer until needed.
- In a heat-proof bowl, melt together all the remaining ingredients, with another pinch of salt. Stir to combine everything along the way and you could do this in a microwave, warm oven or over a pot of simmering water - up to you.
- Once a chocolatey melty bowl of wonderfulness, pour over the peanut base that has been in the freezer and smooth over with a spatula. Return to the freezer and leave to set (a couple of hours) before cutting up and tucking in. Best kept in the freezer.
"Chicken" Fajita Quinoa Salad // Vegan + GF + Oil Free + RSF
22 / 04 / 2018
Mexican food is one of those cuisines which you really don't have to miss out on when going vegan. It's all about flavour (how it often is), and the main (I hate to use the word, but) "protein" is so interchangeable you'll really find yourself not missing the meat-laden version at all. This salad is so quick and easy to chuck together and is so packed full of flavour I think you'll love it. Swap the vegan "chicken" for firm tofu if you so desire and enjoy this in lunch boxes as easy lunches or as part of your meal prep for the week. It's so tasty, full of texture and satisfying flavours - it's on rotation 'round here. Enjoy honeybunches !!
Makes approx 4 serves.
- 1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)
- 2 corn cobs, kernels removed
- large handful cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 small red onion, finely sliced
- large handful coriander, chopped
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 1 lemon, juiced
- equivalent to 1 vegan "chicken" breast (I used two Quorn Vegan chicken breasts)
- 2 tbsp taco/fajita/Mexican spice mix
- Cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions, or until fluffy and cooked through. Drain if necessary and set aside to cool for a little while.
- Meanwhile, grab a large bowl and add the corn kernels, tomatoes, onion, coriander, avocado and lemon juice, stirring until combined.
- Cook your chicken breast in a non-stick pan until lightly brown and cooked through (with a little oil if desired). Once tender, break up roughly into strips/pieces and add your spice mix, stirring around for a couple of minutes until coated and fragrant.
- Add the quinoa to the large bowl of salad ingredients, followed by the vegan "chicken". Toss to combine once more, season and add a tinsy drizzle of olive oil if you desire (optional). Chill and enjoy!!
Pesto, Pumpkin & Rocket Focaccia // Vegan + RSF
22 / 04 / 2018
I wasn't going to post this recipe here because it's quite straight-forward, but bloomin' heck it's too good not too!! I used to have a similar focaccia at school from the canteen (when was not vegan - it had Brie in it I think from memory) and it was so warming and comforting I was excited by the idea of veganising it. The result really didn't disappoint, so scrumptious and the flavours are meant for one another, so do yourself a favour and if you need to have one epic lunch - then look no further!! Hope you like it as much as I do <3
Makes: as many as you want it to
- Turn your oven onto 200C.
- Cut some pumpkin into slices (about 1/2 cm thick) and place on a lined baking tray, sprinkle with salt & pepper and cook in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until tender and lightly brown. Alternatively, use leftover roast pumpkin.
- Once the pumpkin is cooked, build your focaccia by cutting it in half, and spreading one side with pesto and the other nut cheese. Add your pumpkin slices, rocket and red onion, then close the focaccia and toast in a fry-pan or a sandwich press until crunchy and smelling incredible. Devour and enjoy !!
Movie-Night Loaded Vegan Hot-Dogs // RSF
07 / 04 / 2018
There is something incredibly satisfying about anything that's labelled as 'loaded'...I think anyway. It means maximum flavour and a party for your taste-buds!! These are super chill, yet mega scrumptious loaded vegan hotdogs that are sure to impress your friends. I say chill as the recipe is mostly a guideline as you might just want to make one or 10 - who knows, and this "recipe" will help you achieve your vegan hotdog dreams. The crunch, savoury-ness, sweetness, bitterness, everything-ness is mega swell here honeybunches, and if you don't like mustard, swap it out for pesto for an even more impressive bun of your dreams.
Serves - as many as you want it too
- vegan sausages
- bagette or hot dog buns
- onions, cut into half-moons
- coconut sugar
- red wine vinegar
- lemon juice
- salt & pepper
- red cabbage (thinly sliced)
- vegan cheese, grated
- tomato sauce
- Start by caramelising your onions. Whack a pan on the heat (with a little olive oil for best results) and then saute your onions (1 medium onion per person is a good start) until soft and slightly brown. Keep them going over medium heat, adding 1-2 tbsp of coconut sugar and a generous glug of red wine vinegar to help it along and to de-glaze the pan. They are ready when dark in colour and tasting insane (about 15 minutes).
- Meanwhile, cook your sausages according to the packet instructions, or just in a pan with a little oil until crunchy on the outside.
- Cut open your buns, set aside, and grate your vegan cheese, setting that aside too.
- Turn your oven on to it's highest heat/the grill setting.
- Make your guacamole by mashing your avocado (1 avocado for four people works) until smooth with a fork. Mix in a squeeze of lemon juice and a generous pinch of salt & pepper as well. Finely shred a handful or so of red cabbage, break apart with your hands and mix thoroughly into the guacamole. Set aside.
- When your sausages and onions are done, build up your hot-dogs by spreading the insides of the buns with a little mustard (if desired), adding a sausage, a generous amount of caramelised onions and then a sprinkle of vegan cheese shreds. Place in the pre-heated oven for about 5-7 minutes, or until the buns are slightly crunchy and the cheese it slightly golden.
- Top the sausages with the guacamole mixture and drizzle with tomato sauce to finish. Voila! Enjoy honeybunches!!
Scruffy yet Sensational Samosas // Vegan + RSF
07 / 04 / 2018
Who doesn't like samosas - hardly anyone, that's right, because they are pretty easy on the taste-buds (lightly spiced potato and peas people) and user-friendly as well (coming in their own little pocket - how considerate!). This version is ultra-simplified without skimping on the flavour - no-oh. I put them in puff pastry because it does a fabulous job at standing in for the homemade dough that in the case of the 'I'd quite like a samosa now please' individual, is not something they are going to feel like whipping up. So puff-pastry it is - and a flavourful, mushie yet miraculously complex filling to top it off.
I'm going to be making these quite often honeybunches - as with this muffin tin, assembly method as well - they come together in a flash!!
Makes approx. 10 samosas
- 2 1/2 puff pastry sheets (or equivalent)
- 4 small-medium yellow potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 onion, peeled cut into half moons
- 1 tsp each of garlic powder, cumin, coriander, fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp each of ground ginger, onion powder, turmeric, garam masala, ground fenugreek
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- cheek of 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tsp coconut sugar
- salt & pepper
- Preheat your oven to 200C.
- Get your puff pastry sheets out of the freezer to defrost and boil your potatoes for about 10 minutes or until ultra-soft.
- Meanwhile, saute your onion in a little oil in a non-stick pan until soft and lightly brown. Add all the spices to the pan, cooking for a minute or so until fragrant, then add the peas and stir around until they have changed colour slightly.
- Drain the potatoes and add them to the pan, half mashing with a potato masher, so the mixture is only full of little chunks of potato. Stir around so the spices are all incorporated and then add the lemon juice & coconut sugar, stirring until combined.
- Grab a muffin tin, spray or dap with the tinsiest bit of oil to prevent the samosas from sticking.
- Cut a puff pastry sheet into four, and stick each little square into a whole of the muffin tin - forming a cup. Add some of the filling and then casually flop the excess over the filling to form a little casing around the samosa filling (see video - link below). Repeat to use up all the filling, then sprinkle the tops with a little more oil (if desired) and a sprinkling of fennel seeds.
- Cook in the preheated oven for approx. 20 minutes or until looking golden and poofy. Remove from the pan and enjoy honeybunches!!
Cookies & Cream Milkshake // Vegan
07 / 04 / 2018
Milkshakes are something I used to very frequently have when growing up. To think back it's kind of ridiculous to think how A) big and B) rich they were with the oodles of dairy they contained. It may seem impossible for vegan mylkshakes to be even remotely convincing when... well there's not a scrap of dairy in sight. There are some super swell vegan options out there so don't feel like it's all downhill, all you really need is some vegan ice cream and plant-based milk and you're good. However if you are out and about and what one (at least in Australia), know that 'Lord of the Fry's' do cracking milkshakes that taste like the "real deal".
This flavour-combo I happened to feel like creating one day and goodness it didn't disappoint. Ridiculously indulgent, but fabulously on-point. The cookies and creamy-ness is totally convincing, and if you want something to make for your next movie night, I promise you this will deliver. Bottoms up honeybunches!!
Makes 1 Mylkshake
- 1 cup plant mylk
- 2-3 regular oreos (or chocolate ripple biscuits, or digestives etc.)
- 1 tsp cacao powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
- ice cubes (optional)
- Grab yourself a blender and place all of the ingredients in it.
- Blend until smooth.
- Serve straight away and enjoy honeybunches!
Legit Lentil & Walnut Vegan Pâté // GF + RSF + Oil Free
30 / 03 / 2018
Pâté - what a weird food. The original meat-including version has all-sorts of animal-parts in it, I was never a fan growing up. No brown moist-mush for me please!! However, I spied a vegan version in this cookbook I have called 'Salad Samurai' - and goodness was I happy to make it on a whim for a christmas get-together. I actually loved it (because it had walnuts and lentils as a base), and so did everyone else - more than normal pâté!! How cool.
The original recipe had sherry in it, which is dandy and all, however I bet the average-joe doesn't always have sherry hanging around, especially if you don't live with your parents and have access to their alcohol cupboard (which for the first time ever came in handy for moi). Turns out you don't need Sherry for vegan pâté to taste exceptional - and this simplified & streamlined version of the recipe will no doubt blow you and your friends minds out as soon as they taste it. Can't wait for you to try it!!!
Makes approx. 1 1/2 cups of pate
- 1 heaped cup walnuts
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 heaped tsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1 x 400g tin brown lentils, drained & rinsed
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 1 dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- salt & pepper
- In a dry non-stick fry-pan, toast the walnuts until fragrant and lightly golden. Remove from the pan.
- Then add (to the same pan), a splash of water (or oil) along with the onion, garlic, and ginger. Saute until soft and caramelized.
- Add the toasted walnuts, sauteed onion mixture and all the remaining ingredients to a food processor. Blend until ultra smooth and pate looking, scraping down the sides if necessary.
- Transfer to a container to chill before serving. Enjoy!!
Spinach & "Feta" Rolls // Vegan + RSF
13 / 03 / 2018
These were always a serious favourite growing up. A few French and Polish bakeries around the place did their own version and they were always OUT OF THIS WORLD DELICIOUS!!! So flaky and crunchy on the outside then a world of simple yet insanely scrumptious filling that never felt like you were eating a heck tonne of spinach. This is a veganised healthier version that includes a tofu-fetta in the mix that before you ask, really does work as a marvelous substitute. Happy days wonderful honeybunches, this one's a goodin'!!
Makes 8 Rolls
- 375g (or thereabouts) firm tofu (not pressed)
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened plant mylk
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 heaped tsp dried mixed herbs
- generous pinch of salt & pepper
- 500g frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
- small handful dill, chopped
- small handful mint, chopped
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 4 sheets vegan puff pastry
- sesame seeds (optional)
- Make your tofu feta the morning before you make these (or earlier) to give it time to adopt the right flavour. In a medium contained crumble the tofu with your hands into "feta-like" chunks, then add the vinegar, plant mylk, lemon, dried mixed herbs and salt and pepper (the five ingredients below it in the ingredients list), mixing until combined. Pop the lid on and leave to sit for a couple of hours (minimum). Get your spinach out of the freezer to defrost at this stage as well.
- After such time has elapsed, preheat your oven to 200C and get your puff pastry sheets out of the freezer to defrost.
- In a large bowl combine the drained spinach, drained marinated tofu fetta, dill, mint, onion, garlic and nutritional yeast until combined. Add the flour in a couple of increments and stir until smooth (using your hands if you need too).
- Roll up the rolls in the puff pastry, using a little extra plant mylk to secure them and some more to brush on top before adding some sesame seeds (if using). Watch the video to see how I did this, or roll them up your own way (triangles would also be fab).
- Cook in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.