Honeybunch of
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03 / 07 / 2018

I have been a friand fan since I was given this chocolate cookbook pretty young and made this one Chocolate Raspberry Friand recipe whenever I had the chance. Friands are these dense, egg-white laden, butter-filled cakes that have almond meal in on the mix and simply taste outrageously good. Considering the ingredients of the traditional variety, they're a little hard to veganize, and these took me a couple of (kinda expensive) tries to get right. They need to tick a bunch of boxes, the dense box, the moist box, the easy to extract from the tin box, let alone the flavor box. I'm stocked with the result and know you will be too honeybunches - if you need to impress someone who's coming round, shove one of these and a fork in their hand and wait for them to go gooey with delight!!

Makes 10-12 Friands

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup almond meal (also known as almond flour)
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup grapeseed oil (or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup plant milk (rice, soy, almond etc.)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • frozen raspberries (or fresh but - you know... wow$a$!)
  • chopped, or flaked almonds

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 160C, and on a slow setting (if your oven has it, otherwise fan-forced is fine too).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients down to and including the salt through a fine sieve. If there's a couple of clumps of almond meal left in the sieve, just add that to the bowl it's fine.
  3. In another bowl, combine the oil, maple, vanilla, plant milk and coconut sugar with a whisk until combined.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, whisking until smooth.
  5. Butter and flour a 12 hole muffin tin (or friand tin if you have it), divide the mixture amongst the holes - ensuring they are at least 1cm below the rim of the each hole.
  6. Smoosh in a couple of raspberries into each friand, as well as some flaked/chopped almonds. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes (be careful not to over cook them as a dry friand is a very unhappy little thing), letting cool in the tin slightly before turning out and serving.


03 / 07 / 2018

I have been a Croque Monsieur fan from the first time I sampled this seriously simple yet oh so delicious dish. At the crux of it, it's a ham and cheese sandwich, but my-oh-my is it so much more than that!

If you've never had one, it's a toasted sandwich with a heck tonne of white sauce as well as cheese which essentially makes it all the more gooey, delicious, cheesy - yet not really as the cheese sauce doesn't actually have any cheese in it itself.

I cannot wait for you to try this. It's heaven. The stuff of dreams and the perfect super simple and do-able thing to feed to 'vegan cheese sceptics' that think us plant munchers have to miss out on all the fun.

Makes 4 Croque Monsieurs

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 small/medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp plain flour (you can use GF if need be)
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed (or light tasting) oil, or vegan butter
  • 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • the cream out of 1 x 400g tin coconut milk, that has been chilled for at least an hour
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt & pepper
  • vegan butter
  • bread of choosing (makes enough for around 8 slices of bread - aka 4 servings)
  • vegan ham
  • tomato slices
  • vegan cheese shreds

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to it's highest heat on the oven/grill setting.
  2. In a non-stick saucepan, or fry-pan (up to you), add the tsp of olive oil, garlic and onion, sauteing until soft and lightly browned.
  3. Add the flour, 2 tbsp of oil and vegetable stock powder, mixing with a wooden spoon for a minute or two, until the flour coats everything and cooks off a little. Be careful not let the flour burn, by stirring constantly.
  4. Next add the soy milk, in a couple of stages, whisking to incorporate after each interval (3 stages is what I did) until all of it is added to the roux. Add the coconut cream and whisk in until smooth.
  5. Turn the heat down to medium, and whisk until the mixture thickens and becomes that luscious white sauce you've been hoping for. It should only take a couple of minutes. Turn off the heat and add the nutmeg and a generous pinch of salt & pepper.
  6. Line a baking tray, get out your bread slices, vegan ham, vegan cheese and tomato slices. Build up your Croque Monsieurs, by buttering the underside of the bottom piece of bread, then add your ham/tomato on top of that slice. Spoon onto of your sandwich filling some of the white sauce followed by a little sprinkle of vegan cheese, then add the other piece of bread on top of that to create your sandwich. Finish with another spoonful of the white sauce, and sprinkle with vegan cheese.
  7. Cook your Monsieurs in your preheated oven for 5-10 minutes, or until golden and the cheese on the top is bubbling away. Enjoy immediately honeybunches!! These are great with a light salad for a lunch or brunch with loved ones.


03 / 07 / 2018

This pasta is one wholesome flavour-packed par-tay in ya' mouth. The kale in the pesto bulks it up to be this thick green paste from the gods which coasts and surrounds each little pasta strand, getting into all it's crevices, ensuring it doesn't miss out on any of the action. The addition of green beans and juicy plump olives in this pasta (which is delicious hot or cold by the way) add to the blend of flavours and textures, only elevating it from 'fab' to 'far-out GIVE ME THE RECIPE'!!!

This recipe would be great to take to something where you have to bring a big ol' bowl of something - ya know those occasions? Now on with the recipe!

Serves 4-6, or more if they're only having a wee serve.

Ingredients

  • 500g pasta (I used Casarecce shaped pasta, but any will do - including a GF variety)
  • 300g green beans, trimmed
  • 4 stalks of curly kale, leaves removed (about 1/2 a bunch)
  • 1 large bunch basil, leaves only
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • generous pinch of pepper
  • 1 large handful, raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 150g pitted olives (kalamata, or whatever you like)
  • vegan parmesan, to serve (optional)

Method

  1. Cook your pasta according to cooking directions, adding the green beans in the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain (leaving a splash of cooking water in with the pasta), and set aside until needed.
  2. Meanwhile, make your pesto by combining in a blender or food processor the kale, basil, garlic powder, lemon juice, salt, pepper, walnuts, oil and nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth, adding an extra drizzle of olive oil or water if needed to combine. There should be no large chunks of kale or walnut left.
  3. Pour all the pesto over the pasta & beans and stir until everything is coated nicely. Add in the olives, and stir once more ensuring everything is pesto-ed up and looking immensly green and luscious.
  4. Serve with a sprinkling of vegan parmesan if you desire, otherwise dig in whilst hot, or chill before serving.


01 / 07 / 2018

You can make a lasagna a million different ways. Well, that's definitely an overstatement, but everyone does seem to have their own favourite way of making it. To get a hint at the plethora of different varieties you can make it you only have to open a food magazine to see the latest pea, broad bean and asparagus variety calling for your attention.

Point being that I have made many veggie lasagnas’ since becoming vegan and this is the one I continue to fall back on. It's my current favourite (yes I have posted one previously, but this one is definitely better) and that's because of this seriously fabulous pesto-ricotta stuff that you top it off with. It's a bi-weekly staple now in my home because it doesn't actually take that long to chuck together and it lasts a couple of days (HALLELUJAH!) for dinners and lunches.

Without further ado, here is my current favourite way of making a vegan lasagna. Scruffy in looks, warm hug like in flavour!

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium-large butternut OR 1/4 large kent pumpkin, skin cut off & cut into chunks
  • 2 zucchinis, top and tailed
  • 2 carrots, top and tailed
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (or 2 cloves, crushed)
  • 250g firm tofu (or a block up to 350g - don't waste any)
  • 1 bunch basil, leaves only
  • handful raw cashews
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 700g jar passatta
  • 1 x 400g tin crushed/chopped tomatoes
  • dried Italian herb mix or dried mixed herbs
  • 4 handfuls spinach
  • 300-400g lasagna sheets (GF if you prefer)
  • 2 handfuls vegan cheese shreds (or use vegan parmesan alternatively)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C.
  2. Cook your chunks of pumpkin in a pot of boiling water until tender (about 10 mins), then drain, mash until smooth and set aside until needed.
  3. Meanwhile, using a mandolin or food processor attachment (alternatively, you can just chop of grate the stuff) slice your zucchini and carrot super thinly. Sauté in a pot with a little oil and the minced garlic, until slightly soft and the water has evaporated. Turn off the heat and set aside until needed.
  4. In a food processor (or blender - up to you), combine the tofu, basil leaves, cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, olive oil and a generous amount of salt (about a tsp) and pepper. Blend until a pesto-ricotta like creation comes about. You want the tofu to be resembling moist tiny crumbs - what an image!
  5. Assemble your lasagna by starting with the passata, then some lasagna sheets. Build up layers with the mashed pumpkin, sautéed veg, handfuls of spinach with oodles of passata and the tinned tomatoes topped with the dried herbs amongst the lasagna sheets how you'd like. I like to save the tofu ricotta mixture for the top, adding a little passata before lathering it on, smoothing it out and finishing with some vegan cheese shreds or vegan parmesan (whatever I have on hand).
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and delicious! Let stand for 10 minutes if you can wait that long, this way it will cut like a dream :) Enjoy honeybunches!


28 / 06 / 2018

I made a ridiculous amount of vegan cheesecakes when I first got into vegan cooking (that was before I actually went vegan - fun fact) - as I think in my mind they were the only real sweet desserty vegan thing to make for family dinners etc that I could think of. They were all raw cashew, date and nut base varieties of cheesecakes and I forced them on a lot of family members who reluctantly (I'm sure) said 'hmm... quite nice' after their first mouthful of cold raw-vegan-ness. I don't have anything against these types of cheesecakes, I often make small ones for this and that, but I appreciate that for some people, they are just a bit too "clean" tasting or something.

So this is a baked vegan cheesecake with a super creamy scrumptious filling and traditional biscuit base. It literally tastes exactly the same as the usual way of making it does, yet is full of much more plant-ful ingredients that will probably save you from that "this was so rich I'm going to have a nap now" feeling afterwards. Cannot wait for you to try this lemoney-vanillery-blueberry-biscuity number honeybunches. It's beyond lovely!!

Makes 1 x 23cm (9 inch) cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 400g plain digestive biscuits (or similar - hobnobs, graham crackers etc.)
  • 1/2 vegan butter, melted
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked (minimum for 30 minutes in hot water) then drained & rinsed
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of 3 lemons
  • the hard cream from 1 x 400g chilled can of coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 vegan cream cheese (I used Tofutti)
  • 2 tsp vanilla (paste, extract, essence - any will work)
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 160C.
  2. Start by making your crust by pulsing all the biscuits in a food processor until they are fine and the texture is like sand. Add the melted butter and blend until mixed throughout the biscuit crumbs. Take out the blade and mix by hand once more to catch any butter left in a crevice somewhere.
  3. Line the bottom of a 23cm/9 inch spring-form cake tin. Add all the base mixture to the tin and press up the sides with a measuring cup to form a crust all the way around. This is the trickiest part, but a deep breath and a little patience is all it takes. It does not have to be perfect by any stretch.
  4. Combine the remaining ingredients (minus the frozen blueberries and the last listed ingredient - the 2 tbsp of maple syrup) in a high-powered blender (including the 1/2 cup of maple syrup if there's any confusion about that). Blend until smooth and creamy.
  5. Pour into the prepared crust and gently tap the base of the cheesecake against the bench (from a height of 1cm is enough) to bring any air bubbles to the surface.
  6. Make the berry compote, by combining the frozen blueberries and the 2 tbsp of maple in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and let the berries defrost and ooze some of their juices. Once noticeably defrosted (after a couple of minutes), gently squash 1/2 the berries with a potato masher in the pot to create some textural excitement. Once looking like a chunky thick purple syrup (all in all will only take 5-7 minutes), remove from the heat and using a spoon drizzle over the cheesecake. I did a swirly pattern but you do you cheesecake queen! You can use a spoon or chopstick to create a swirly pattern if you like.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, or until there's only a slight jiggle in the cheesecake when you wiggle it a little. Leave to cool to room temperature before transferring it to the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving. Overnight is best. Then tuck in and enjoy honeybunches xx