Stew's are something that unless you grew up with them (because say you're from the UK or Ireland), then they're most likely towards the bottom of your "what to make for dinner barrel". Not because there's anything particularly wrong with them, just that A) they require a bit of time to do their thing, either on the hob or in the oven - which many of us are becoming increasingly unwilling to plan ahead sufficiently enough to do, which is a bit sad, and then because B) aesthetically they're a little average.
So with this recipes, I've tried to remedy that last point by putting the potatoes on top instead of in the stew, and grilled them a bit after baking so you essentially have the best of both worlds. Saucy, flavourful, soft stew-like potatoes, with that roasted potato finish. Glorious! As for stews taking a while, I do implore you to give it a go despite it taking a couple of beats to make, as it's the perfect comforting (and dare I say, just as "meaty" and satisfying as the real deal) dish to make for your loved ones on a cold, or even just overcast kind of day.
1 large onion (or 2 small), chopped how you like
2 celery stalks, chopped smallish
3 carrots, top and tailed & chopped into chunks
2 heaped tsp minced garlic
10 large mushroom cups (or about 7 portobello mushrooms), chopped into all different medium-large sized pieces
1 heaped cup mushroom cups, sliced small
2 tbsp GF plain flour (or regular flour)
1/2 cup vegan beer/white wine (or Guiness works too for a darker stew)
1/2 cup chopped/crushed tomatoes (canned or fresh)
3-4 cups vegan "beef stock" (or veg stock if you don't have it available to you)
2 bay leaves
1 sprig rosemary, "leaves" only
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
2 tsp coconut sugar
salt & pepper
4 large potatoes, peeled & sliced thickly
Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
In a large pot, add a drizzle of olive oil and add the onion, celery, carrots & garlic. Saute until the onion is lightly golden and the other veg softens.
Meanwhile in another large fry-pan, add another glug of olive oil and saute both types of mushrooms in two batches so not to crowd them too much. Don't touch them too much, as you want them to reduce in size and become slightly golden. Once all the mushrooms are sauteed set aside.
Add the plain flour to the onion mixture and stir to coat the veg. Cook the flour off for a minute or two and let it soak up the moisture in the pan. Add the beer, tomtoes, cooked mushrooms and 3 cups of the "beef" stock and stir everything together. If you desire a runnier consistancy (bear in mind it will thicken up in the oven) add the remaining cup of stock.
Add the bay leaves, rosemary, mixed herbs, sugar and a grind each of salt and pepper. Stir together and let bubble away while you get out your baking dish (if your pot isn't oven safe that is) and chop your potatoes.
Transfer the stew to an oven safe dish if need be, and layer the potatoes on top of the stew so that they float oven the mixture. Dot little bits of vegan butter over the top, and finish with a grind of salt & pepper.
Cover the stew and cook for 1 hour. After the hour has finished up, take off the lid/foil and cook under the grill setting for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are seriously golden brown. Enjoy honeybunches!!
One birthday I had in middle school, my birthday cake was a carrot cake choc-a-block with walnuts in it, and while I didn't show it - I wasn't all that choofed with the relatively-wholesome cake. Safe to say, my taste-buds and attitude to carrot cake has thankfully made a full recovery since then, and now I do love a lovely carrot cake, complete with a lemony icing, and yes, lots of walnuts. This is a denser, moister cake then most so keep that in mind, and also you can easily swap the GF flour for regular if you wish. Enjoy!
Makes 1 x 20cm square cake
1/2 cup apple puree
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 tbsp nut butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 carrots, finely grated
3/4 cup coconut sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup oat flour (or oats blended until fine), GF if necessary
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
3/4 GF plain flour (or regular plain flour)
2 large handfuls walnuts, chopped Lemony Icing
1/3 cup vegan butter
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp vanilla (paste, extract etc.)
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
Preheat your oven to 180C (not fan-forced if you have the option, otherwise the fan setting will still work, just not as well).
In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients (down to and including the salt) with a whisk until smooth and combined (with carrot strands in it though of course).
Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl (sans the walnuts) and whisk gently to combine.
Grease and line a 20cm square tin (or similar) and add in the batter.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 1 hour. If the skewer does not come out clean and the cake is not quite firm to touch, give it another 10 minutes. Set aside to cool at room tempurature.
Meanwhile make your icing by mixing all the icing ingredients together with an elctric whisk until smooth. You can cream the butter first with the vanilla and lemon, but I've found it doesn't make much difference either way. Beat for a couple of minutes so the icing lightens and fluffs up a tad more.
My new cookbook is officially out and about (well on my MY ETSY) as of today honeybunches, in both a A5 hard-copy format as well as in a PDF file you can download directly onto your computer after purchasing. I started recipe testing for this thing on the 20th of October this year, so I've had to keep the ball rolling at a rather brisk pace to get all the recipes, formatting and design etc. done in time for you to order it for Christmas is you so fancy. Due to this cookbook taking up most of my time, I have not had much time for other HBOT-creations, so I apologise for this blog appearing a little light on the recipe-front, and my YouTube channel appearing equally quiet. It's been for good reason though, as this wee creation has been in the works and I have been working my butt off to ensure it's just one really great cookbook filled with reliable, DELICIOUS recipes - and all the while presented in a wonderfully groovy way.
There are 32 completely vegan & gluten-free recipes in it's pages, and if you are wondering what they might be, catch a glance at the list below...
“Tuna” Risotto Balls
Lemon & Dill Fish & Chips
Roasted Cauliflower Pesto Pasta
Timballo w Aubergines (Eggplant)
Roasted Cauliflower & Pumpkin Spiced Fritters
Mexican Quinoa Bake
Pumpkin & Potato Gratin
Tofu & Vegetable Satay Skewers
Parmesan Crusted Baked Mushrooms
Basil & Mint Chopped Salad
Staple Bean Stew
Moroccan Pumpkin Chickpea Stew
Roasted Tofu & Veg Pesto Bowl
Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant
Chocolate Beetroot Cupcakes
Chocolate Almond Blondies
One-Bowl Banana Bread
Vegan Cheds (Cheesy Biscuits)
Lemon & Passionfruit Melting Moments
Honey & Cornflake Slice
Mango & Passionfruit Tart
Chocolate & Orange Truffles
Self-Saucing Chocolate Pudding
Apple & Berry Crumble
While all the recipes are gluten-free by default, there are oodles of swaps that are mentioned in the cookbook for you to make - if not fussed about making them strictly GF. The recipes also have a wholefood emphasis, however taste is prioritised equally so for example in one instance you'll find a bit of caster sugar in the ingredients list - as when I played around with ingredients for my Self-Saucing Chocolate Pudding, that option just undeniably tasted the best.
I made a behind the scenes/cookbook trailer type of video that has more information on the book as well, so if you're interested - catch that one HERE.
Spaghetti Bolognese or Spag-Bog (as us kids used to call it) was a regular feature at the dinner table growing up. Hide some grated veg in there and all at the dinner table were pretty happy. Since going vegan I think I've only ever had a vegan version once or twice, trying out the new vegan "mince" on the block with this really-don't-need-a-recipe kinda dish. To be honest, soy mince is just not something I become overly excited about. It just doesn't carry that much... pizzaz. Well that goes for the ones I've tried so far anyways, which really hasn't been that many.
Since seeing many delicious lentil based bolognese sauces around the place I have wanted to give one ago. By adding my own little spin to it, I really wasn't disoppointed AT ALL. Super scrummy and the perfect thing to make a big batch of for last-minute meals throughout the week. Yum.
Serves enough sauce for 4-8, depending on how hungry you are
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 stick celery, finely diced
2 tsp minced garlic
2 bay leaves
4 portobello mushrooms, diced small (or 2 heaped cups of any type of chopped mushrooms)
1 cup green lentils, rinsed
1 x 400g crushed/chopped tomatoes
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup passata (or pasta sauce)
1 tbsp dried italian herb mix (or dried mixed herbs)
In a large non-stick pot (or deep-ish fry-pan), saute the onion, carrot, celery and garlic for about 3-5 minutes in a little oil (or saute the veg in water for this recipe to be oil free).
Add the bay leaves and mushrooms, stiring and cooking for 3 minutes more until the mushrooms have shrunk down and are fragrant.
Now add to the pot the lentils, tin of tomatoes, vegetable stock, passata, herbs, worstechire sauce, coconut sugar, nutritional yeast and pepper. Stir to combine, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let the lentils cook for 40 minutes. Stir once or twice during this time.
After that time has elapsed, put some pasta on to serve it with if desired. Season the bolognaise and add a splash more water to loosen if required. Once the pasta has cooked, serve with the sauce and sprinkle generously with the vegan parmesan if desired. Enjoy!
Scones, little dry blobs of gluten - wait hold up!!! These will smash your perceptions of scones, if that description is similar to the one you hold to these grandma-esque numbers. These are far from dry, but rather flavourful and absolutely heavenly. The combo works wonders with a little bit of vegan butter and a cup of tea, so I suggest you make these pronto for anyone in your life that has ever made YOU a scone and see what they think. Because I think they're definetely in with a 99.99% shot at impressing.
They're stupidly easy and rather divine. Feel free to swap out the flour for GF plain flour or a mixture of buckwheat, brown rice etc.
Makes approx. 10 scones
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup almond meal
pinch of salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp chopped rosemary (about 1-2 sprigs worth)
60g dark vegan chocolate chopped (or use choc-chips)
1/2 cup plant mylk (I used soy), plus more to use as a wash for these bad boys
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp grapeseed oil (or refined coconut oil, or any light flavoured oil)
1 heaped tbsp nut butter (I used an almond blend)
splash of vanilla essense/extract/paste etc.
Preheat your oven to 180C.
In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients, pushing out any lumps of flour/almond meal with the bottom of a measurng cup if need be. Whisk to combine.
In another bowl (or small dish) combine the remaining ingredients, whisking until smooth.
Add the wet mixture into the dry and stir until combined. It should form a dough of sorts. Add more flour if your mixture is too sticky. Line a baking tray in preparation, and while you've got the baking paper out, take two extra sheets. Plonk the dough in between them (sprinkling with a little more flour if need be) and roll the mixture to be just below an inch thickness/2.5cm-ish. Using a scone cutter or the rim of a glass, cut out circles and place on the prepared baking tray. Re-roll and re-cut, until all the dough is used. The scones will rise a little, but you can cook them snug up against each other or apart, either will work.
Brush the tops with more plant mylk before baking in the pre-heated oven for approx. 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them and when the tops are only ever so slightly golden they will be ready. Best enjoyed fresh out of the oven or within a day or so of baking with a little vegan butter. Deeelish!