Cake · Recipes · Sweets

Scones

Scones with Jam and Cream

Ingredients

  • 500g self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 80g caster sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 80g dairy free butter (I like the Pure sunflower or Vitalite for these)
  • 240 ml dairy free milk (Oat works like a dream)
  • Strawberry jam and vegan cream to serve (Food Heaven squirty or Elmlea plant based double. )

Method

  • Pre- heat the oven to GM 6 or 200c
  • Put all the ingredients in a bowl or food processor and mix into a dough.
  • Flour your hands and the work surface
  • Tip out the dough and bring it together to a smooth dough
  • Using a cutter cut out your scones.
  • Put on to a lined baking sheet and pop in the oven for 12 minutes.
  • Eat warm straight from the oven or allow to cool if you have the patience!

Tips and Cheats

If you want an even rise on your scones don’t twist the cutter as you cut them out. You can add sultanas to the mix, about 100g for fruit scones too, or cranberries, apricots, dates etc what ever takes your fancy! If you don’t eat them all at once the scones will keep for about 3 days in an air tight container, although I wouldn’t know because they never last that long!

Picnic · Recipes · Week Night Winners

Fajitas

Fajita’s

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of tofu or tempeh (we love the Tofoo Co. one)
  • 1 tbsp Lime (or lemon) juice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • Cornflour
  • 1 large courgette (or 2 small ones)
  • 2 peppers (we like red and yellow)
  • 2 medium onions

To serve:

  • Tortilla wraps
  • spinach
  • grated vegan cheese
  • plain yoghurt (we like Koko)
  • salsa
  • chopped cucumber
  • chopped tomato

Method

  • Drain the tofu and gently squeeze the water from it.
  • In a shallow dish mix the lime juice, cumin, garlic, soy sauce and chipotle chili
  • Slice the tofu in to thin strips or cubes and add to the mixture. Leave it to marinade for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile slice the veggies and stir fry off in a wok or large pan.
  • Once the veggies are part cooked pour in the marinade mixture saving the tofu (this needs crisping off!).
  • Set them aside on a low heat to get nice and soft.
  • Toss the tofu in to the cornflour and in another pan add a small amount of oil.
  • Fry off the tofu until it starts to crisp.
  • Now serve!

Tips and Cheats

I love to serve each components in little bowls and let the children make up their own. My daughter doesn’t like cooked veggies so I also put out bowls of raw pepper for her to add in. If you are short for time most of the Old El Paso Fajita kits are vegan, just check the milder ones as they contain milk powder. If you are using these sprinkle half the flavour mix into the veggies and half with the cornflour then fry the tofu the same way! So delicious! They are also great cold on a picnic or for lunch!

Recipes · Week Night Winners

Meatballs

Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of vegan meatballs. Our favourites are the Plant Power frozen ones from Sainsburys.
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 onion (either red or white it makes no difference!)
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 bottle of garlic tomato passata/ or normal passata (Aldi)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 200 ml water
  • 1 tbsp mixed herbs

Method

  • Slice all the vegetables in to strips, or chunks (your choice!)
  • Saute off the onion for 5 minutes until soft in a large pan with a little oil.
  • Add in the garlic and the rest of the vegetables and saute for another 5 minutes, if it starting to brown add in a little water.
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes. The 200 ml of water is optional but i like quite a saucy meatball so add it in!
  • Serve with rice or on top of pasta.

Tips and Cheats

You can honestly throw in any veg you like to this dish. I like the more Mediterranean veg and if i have left over tomatoes I chop them up and chuck them in too. If you make the sauce without the meatballs it keeps for ages in the freezer and makes a lovely pasta sauce on its own. You can even blend it to a smooth sauce for those fussy eaters. Often with any left overs we make our own meatball subs by popping them in to a cob with cheese and salad. AS mentioned we really like the plant power meatballs from Sainsburys. They are £1.75 for a bag of 20 so easily feeds a family of 4.

Little treats · Recipes

Best Hot Chocolate

The BEST hot chocolate

Ingredients

  • Your favourite hot chocolate powder. We love Cadbury’s or Co-op
  • 1 cup of oat milk
  • 1 square of dark chocolate
  • Food Heaven vegan squirty cream

Method

  • Heat your milk on the stove don’t let it boil over.
  • Add your chocolate powder to a blender and our over the hot milk.
  • Blend until frothy.
  • Pour in to your favourite mug.
  • Squirt on the cream and grate over some chocolate.
  • Enjoy! It is that simple.

Tips and Cheats

If you don’t have a blender pour in to an old clean jar and shake! Or you can use a hand whisk. We love Cadbury’s and Co-op hot chocolates as they are accidentally vegan which means no premium price!

Breakfasts · Picnic · Recipes

Baked Bean Pasties

Perfect Picnic Food

Ingredients

  • 1 Pack of Jus Roll short crust pastry (ready rolled for ease!)
  • 1 tin of baked beans
  • A little vegan spread

Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 7/200c
  • Unroll the pastry and using a cutter cut out disks a little bigger than the size of the hole in your muffin tin.
  • Rub a little oil around each muffin tin and then line with the discs.
  • Pop a good spoon of beans into each case and on the top of the beans place about 1/4 teaspoon of the vegan spread. this gives the finished filling a creamy texture!
  • Re- roll the scraps of pastry and cut out the lids.
  • Pop into the oven for about 10 minutes until the pastry is golden!
  • Eat hot or wrap in foil and pop in a thermal lunch bag for a hot picnic treat.

Tips and Cheats

We often make bigger pasties by cutting out large squares, popping a good amount of beans in the middle and folding over. You can even add in some chunks of vegan sausage and vegan cheese for your very own breakfast pasty!

Recipes · Waste Not Want Not · Week Night Winners

‘Egg’ Fried Rice

‘Egg’ Fried Rice

Ingredients

  • 200g of cooked rice
  • 200g extra firm tofu (we like the Tofoo one)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • bunch of spring onions
  • 1 cup of cooked frozen peas
  • 1 clove garlic

Method

  • Heat a little oil in a pan/wok and chuck in the spring onions, peas and garlic.
  • After 2 minutes add the tofu and gentle heat through. Stir constantly as it will stick.
  • Add the turmeric and stir until the tofu goes a lovely yellow colour.
  • Add in the cooked rice – this should be freshly cooked not reheated so as to prevent food poisoning.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Tips and cheats

You can add any veg in to this as you like! We often add in sweetcorn, beansprouts, peppers, edamame beans, cooked diced carrot and mushrooms. The tofu is what gives it that eggy texture. If you are feeling super lazy you can use a packet or two of microwave rice or if you are feeling healthy opt for brown rice or wild rice. There are no rules here just chuck it all in and season to taste. I often use soy sauce to season rather than salt if I have it and I love a drizzle of sweet chili sauce on top where as the kids love a drizzle of plum sauce!

Recipes · Sweets

Gingerbread

Perfect Gingerbread

Ingredients

  • 400g flour
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 175g brown sugar
  • 150g dairy free butter
  • 1 tbs molasses
  • 100g golden syrup

Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/180c.
  • In a saucepan on a low heat melt the sugar, butter, golden syrup and molasses, just melt it do not let it boil.
  • In a large bowl add all the dry ingredients.
  • Pour the wet ingredients in to the dry and stir together until a dough forms. It will be quite a soft wet dough.
  • Put the dough in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes.
  • Flour the surface lightly and roll out the dough. You can cut it in to any shapes you like.
  • Place on to a baking try lined with baking parchment.
  • Bake for 8 minutes for chew gingerbread or 10 minutes for hard gingerbread (watch your teeth!)

Tips and cheats

Once the dough has been cooled you can roll in to a sausage and freeze it, you can cut out the shapes and freeze those too. It is a really versatile dough that I use as a pastry case for my Christmas chocolate torte and my son even made a viking longboat from it. If you want to build a gingerbread house then cook it for a little longer. In the oven the gingerbread will fluff up as you take it out it will then settle down and that is what makes it nice and chewy in the the middle. To store the biscuits pop them in an air tight container and they will last a week unless you eat them first!

Recipes · Week Night Winners

Stuffed Jackets

Stuffed Jackets

Ingredients

  • 4 large potatoes
  • 2 tbsp of dairy free butter
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1 cup of grated dairy free cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Cook your jacket potatoes. I personally like to blast in the microwave for 10 minutes to give them a head start and then pop into a medium oven for an hour until the skin is crispy.
  • Cut the jackets in half length ways and scoop out the filling, please don’t burn yourself but it does need to still have some heat in.
  • Put the potato filling into a large bowl and add in all the other ingredients. Give it a good mash together and watch the cheese melt!
  • Take the filling and refill the potato skins.
  • Pop them under a hot grill until the tops brown.

Tips and cheats

You can put anything you like into these stuffed jackets. My children like some yellow pepper rather than the spring onions. You can add in some kidney beans for extra protein along with some sweetcorn for a more Mexican feel! Get as creative as you like. They are great for hot picnics (something we like to do in winter), or even on a buffet. I really like the Sainsburys grated dairy free cheese or the Violife in this as they both melt really well and have a nice mature flavour. If you don’t like dairy free cheese you can leave it out and just add in some dairy free butter along with your fillings.

Cake · Recipes · Sweets

Angel Cake

Angel Cake

Ingredients

  • 250g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 150g sugar
  • 70ml vegetable/sunflower oil
  • 210ml dairy free milk (I use oat)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • pink and yellow food colouring
  • 300g icing sugar and water to make icing.

Method

  • Preheat oven to gas mark 5/180c
  • In a mixing bowl add the flour, sugar, baking powder, oil, milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
  • Split the mix in half and colour one half pink and one half yellow. (This is totally optional!)
  • I use a small roasting tin to cook the cake in but you can use any tin you wish. Line the tin with baking paper.
  • Pour in the pink mix and spread evenly.
  • Carefully pour over the yellow mix and very gently spread it out.
  • Cook for 25-30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool
  • To make the icing put the icing sugar in a bowl and add in a tsp of water at a time until you get a thick icing. It should just be able to pour.
  • take out 3 tbsp of the icing and colour pink.
  • Pour the white icing over the cake and then either using a piping bag or a spoon drizzle over the pink icing in a pattern of your choice!
  • Allow the icing to set before cutting.

Tips and cheats

This cake really is a chuck it all in and mix cake it is so easy. You don’t have to colour the batter and you don’t have to colour the icing. Depending on your oven cooking time will vary slightly by 5 minutes so just watch it from 25 min so it doesn’t burn.

Blog Posts

Cost of being vegan and what to buy!

During Veganuary there are so many new products popping on to the shelves and lots of folk trying veganism! I think this is amazing. Having been dairy free for almost 10 years and vegan for 3 I have seen a huge surge in the products on sale and the choice. I have also noticed a huge shift in the labeling of food which makes finding those accidentally vegan products easier to find!

There are several things to consider when doing your shopping which shouldn’t be anything new to you! Firstly, you don’t want to live on junk food! Whilst the pies, pasties and pizza’s hitting the shelves look tempting remember it is just like eating the non-vegan equivalent. You wouldn’t eat them every night then so you probably shouldn’t now either. These products are also super expensive. Personally, I also limit how many meat replacement foods we eat. Whilst they are tasty and make a quick meal it does limit your nutrients and increases your weekly food bill!

I try to include 1 tofu dish and 1 meat replacement dish a week into our evening meals. A large block of tofu which feeds 4 of us is £3.00 and a bag of vegan meatballs is £1.50 so not about to break the bank.

The other meals we eat are made up of beans, lentils, rice, and mushrooms. It is often joked that I will turn in to a mushroom one day the amount we eat. Mushrooms are so versatile. They can be eaten whole, sliced, diced or even minced. They hold flavour, are a good source of protein, potassium, vitamin D, vitamin B-6, and magnesium so they are a good food to fill out your dishes with!

You can get so many recipes for vegan food. When I started I went out and bought lots of weird and wonderful items that looked vital for all these complicated dishes. Not only was it wasteful as you used them so infrequently it was totally unnecessary in reality most meals can be made quickly, easily and with basic items you can buy in your local Coop!

So what do I buy and what is in my cupboards?!

Dried Foods

  • Plain flour
  • Self raising flour
  • Baking powder
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Arrow root powder
  • Cornflour
  • Caster sugar (some aren’t vegan so do check)
  • Brown sugar
  • Oats
  • Dried pasta
  • Rice
  • Noodles
  • Gnocchi (Aldi’s is labeled vegan)
  • Red lentils
  • Green lentils
  • Tinned beans (kidney, chickpea, butter, cannellini, black)
  • Baked beans
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Passata
  • Jam
  • Peanut butter
  • Marmite
  • Chutney and pickles (onions, gherkins etc)
  • Tinned coconut milk
  • Tomato Ketchup
  • Brown Sauce
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Dark chocolate
  • Vanilla
  • Cocoa powder
  • Hot chocolate (Cadbury and Coop are both vegan)
  • Birds custard powder
  • Golden syrup
  • Molasses (not vital but we make quite a bit of gingerbread!)

Herbs and Spices

  • Mixed herbs
  • Turmeric
  • Paprika
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Curry powder
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Garam Masala
  • Cardamon pods
  • Soy sauce
  • Veg stock cubes (Sainsburys are marked vegan)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sweet chili sauce
  • Mirin (not vital but we love sushi)
  • Nutritional yeast (i love this stuff)
  • Tomato puree
  • Pesto (vegan although we buy sun dried tomato paste!)

Fresh Food

  • Mushrooms
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Peppers (Only red and yellow here as no one likes green!)
  • Greens (Broccoli, kale, spring greens, cabbage etc)
  • Salad (lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, spring onions)
  • Fruit (we stick to plums, apricots, apples, pears, oranges etc and try to stay in season)
  • Bananas (we go through a lot of bananas)
  • Vegan cheese (we like the Sainsburys grated vegan cheese and also the Violife range)
  • Vitalite
  • Jus roll pastry
  • Jus roll croissant dough (these last two are one off’s!)

Frozen Food

  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Chili
  • Peas
  • Sweetcorn
  • Stir fry mix

Vegan Specific Food

  • Tofu
  • Vegan sausages
  • Vegan meatballs
  • Vegan chicken pieces
  • Vegan yogurt (we like Koko)
  • Vegan milk (we like oat)
  • Vegan mayo
  • Vegan ice cream (Swedish Glace is our favourite)

Other Items

  • Bread – most bread is vegan
  • English muffins
  • Crumpets (check for vegan ones)
  • Crisps
  • Popcorn
  • Biscuits (hobnobs, oreo, party rings are all vegan)

Whilst this list isn’t complete and I will buy other bits and bobs depending on the week and what the children want to eat generally speaking our weekly shop is made up of topping up the dried foods and fresh fruit and vegetables. We don’t have vegan cheese every week and we don’t eat a lot of yogurt or ice cream and I try to limit the processed food to once or twice a week. Being vegan doesn’t have to be expensive and you certainly don’t need to chuck away everything in your cupboards when you start! Take it a step at a time and a meal at a time! You will soon know what you like and don’t like and save the complicated expensive dishes as your show stoppers!