So - I've made magic. And I'm super excited to share this new recipe!
I've made this a few times now and, most excitingly, will be making it for the Yorkshire Vegan Festival this weekend at our ZOODLE stall.
So, had to get it perfect!
This baby is perfect raw pesto, but with avocado to add creaminess. And boy, is it creamy.
Time: 15 minutes
You'll Need: A food processor or great blender
(If doing raw noodles - a spiralizer also)
2 perfectly ripe avocados
4 cups of fresh basil (have as much as possible at hand!)
1/2 cup raw pine nuts
Juice of 2 lemons
2 garlic cloves
And if serving with noodles - 2 Courgettes/Zucchinis
Combine all ingredients in your blender and blend very gradually, stopping to move the ingredients around with a spoon if necessary. Continue pulsing and blending until a perfectly textured pesto.
Taste when the texture is right and season to taste.
If using a food processor - just process until perfect!
For Raw Noodles:
Work the two courgettes through a sprializer and leave in a large bowl.
Add an optional squeeze of lemon juice to keep fresh!
For serving - pour your pesto on top of the noodles, mix together well and finish off with some cherry tomatoes.
And here are the Zoodles at the Yorkshire Vegan Festival!!
I've posted about Overnight Oats SO many times it's ridiculous.
BUT - in my defence, people still ask me how I make them, almost every time I post a picture on Instagram.
So, here is super simple guide to Overnight Oats (and an ode to my love affair.)
If you're not on this band wagon yet, jump on. Seriously. They are the best, easiest and yummiest breakfast I've discovered for being in a hurry and broke. (Apart from bananas).
How To Make Overnight Oatas
In the evening - grab a container, jar, sexy expensive thing you bought at the Organic store. Whatever. Grab it and put it on the counter.
Fill it about half-way with Oats. I use Jumbo.
Now - ADD WHATEVER YOU WANT TO MAKE IT DELICIOUS.
My favourite options:
1) A banana, broken up into small pieces, generous sprinkling of Cinnamon, ground Flaxseed
3) Currants, Cinnamon and a bit of Raw Cacao
4) Or if you're going super cheap - just do Oats, some vanilla essence for sweetness and Soy Milk. Honestly, it will still taste good.
After you've added in your chosen filling, fill to the top with Soy or Almond Milk.
Put the Lid on.
SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE until all combined.
Pop it in the fridge.
How simple is that? The yummiest, easiest breakfast and you can change it up as much as you like.
Love and Sweet Potatoes (and Oats...)
- Hannah xx
I know you're meant to "measure" and stuff when baking.... but I have to be honest, this isn't my strong point. Rest assured - this Banana bread was so nice I made it multiple times and it just got better and better!
What can I say? I love inventing stuff. Which, I suppose is handy when you have a food blog.
Time: 1 hour plus time for cooling
You'll Need: A small loaf tin
1/3 Cup Melted Coconut Oil
1 1/3 Cups Plain Flour
3 heaped Tablespoons Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
3 Teaspoons Cinnamon
3 Large, RIPE Bananas (overripe is even better)
1/2 Cup Walnuts
1/2 Cup chopped Medjool Dates
1/3 Cup of Organic Soy Milk
Preheat oven to 180 degrees
Begin by mashing bananas in a small bowl to make a thick paste, as free from lumps as possible.
Sift flour into a large mixing bowl. Add Baking Powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix well.
Melt Coconut Oil in a pan on the stove.
Add melted Coconut oil, banana paste and dash of soy milk into your mixing bowl. Mix until well combined. If the mixture is too thick, add another dash of soy milk.
The ideal consistency will be easy to stir, but not runny at all.
When you're happy with that consistency, add the walnuts and dates. Combine.
Grease your loaf tin with Coconut Oil and add in the batter. Sprinkle some walnuts onto the top.
Bake in the oven for forty minutes. I recommend checking after 30. Do this by inserting a skewer or knife and see if it comes out clean. If any batter comes out, stick back into the oven.
Leave to cool for at least an hour before serving.
I make hummus most nights. I'm not gonna lie. Why be ashamed of eating my body weight in hummus most evenings?
Especially when that means I have a healthy, delicious, low-fat version perfected!
I published my first Hummus recipe a long time ago, which I still love, but here is a version that has NO oil and is equally tasty (actually more, in my opinion!)
You'll Need: High powered blender
Makes: About 2 cups of Hummus
Time: TEN MINUTES
1 can Organic Chick-peas, drained.
(*handy hint from my awesome partner. Save the drained juice and use that instead of water)
1.5 tbsp Tahini (I use dark, unhulled)
1 clove garlic, crushed
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
Large pinch of salt
1/4 cup water on standby in case you need it
Simply combine all ingredients, apart from the water, in your blender and process until combined. I usually blend for a bit, then stop to push all the ingredients around with a spoon and blend again.
As the hummus begins to form - slowly add water to get desired consistency. I like mine fairly thick, which usually doesn't require much.
And WHAM - delicious, homemade hummus. Blend as long as you like, until the chick-peas are completely broken up and your hummus is thick and delicious. Season to taste.
Potato bake used to be one of my hands-down favourite indulgences! Every birthday I would request a giant lasagne and a cheesy potato bake for my evening dinner (for everyone to share, I swear). Wow, how times have changed....
A traditional potato bake is full of cream, butter and cheese. Ew. You don't need any of that nastiness and the good news is - a vegan one can be just as delicious and creamy without any of the dairy!
Thank you 2015 :)
The key to this bake is, of course, a delicious sauce. The longer you have to nurse it and let the flavours marinate, the better it will be.
Time: 2 hours prep. 30 minutes baking.
5 Potatoes, washed and scrubbed. Skin on.
2 Sweet Potatoes, as above
2 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp Vegan Butter (Sunflower spread, soy spread, Margarine etc)
2 Tbsp Wholemeal Plain Flour
2 vegetable stock cubes
A full carton of Organic soy milk (Bonsoy for the win)
Salt and Pepper
Nutritional Yeast for the top (optional, but definitely better with!)
Sunflower seeds and Pumpkin seeds for the top
1) Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and put a very large saucepan/pot of water on to boil
2) Place your white potatoes into the boiling water, whole. Cook until they are nearly cooked through, but not overcooked. Under is better than over! (They'll be going into the oven)
3) Slice the Sweet Potatoes into 1/2 inch circles and lay on an oven tray with some salt and rosemary. Cover with foil and place in the oven for approximately 15 minutes or until cooked through.
4) In a very large frying pan on medium heat - add vegan butter, diced onion and diced garlic. Sauté until lightly brown. Chuck in a small amount of thyme and rosemary at this stage to get the flavour in early!
5) Add 2 tablespoons of wholemeal flour and stir until combined. This will make a thick, almost paste-like mixture.
6) Make your vegetable stock by combining stock cubes with 1/2 a pint of boiling water. Add this to your onion mixture and stir. It will still be very thick.
7) Lower the heat and gradually add soy milk, stirring carefully and gradually. You can use as much soy milk as you like depending on how large your oven-tray is. I opted for a medium-sized tray and used nearly an entire carton. (But there was some leftover sauce)
8) Once all soy milk is added and your sauce is on a very low heat, add some dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt and pepper. Be gentle with the pepper, but generous with the others, I would say.
9) Have a taste test after ten minutes or so and adjust the seasoning to your taste.
10) By this point, hopefully your Sweet Potato slices will be out of the oven and your large potatoes are cooked. When the white potatoes are cool enough to slice (they don't have to be cold, just cool) you can assemble your bake!
11) Slice up all the Potatoes very carefully into 1/2 inch slices again.
12) Lay one row of potato slices, top with a large spoonful of sauce
13) Lay a row of Sweet Potato on top and another large spoonful of sauce, covering each potato with oozes of flavour :)
14) Continue then with white potato slices and sauce until dish is full.
15) When you cannot layer enough potatoes/sweet potato (I got four layers) spoon as much sauce as you can on top, filling the dish.
16) Finish off with a sprinkling of Nutritional Yeast, Sunflower seeds, Pumpkin seeds, more Thyme and more Rosemary
17) Place in the oven for approximately half an hour, or until ready to serve.
There are four main components to this delicious, super healthy, high-carb feast! The tomato and lentil sauce, steamed brown rice, sweet potato wedges and hummus. It makes for an easy, simple meal that feels a bit more indulgent than basic rice and veg.
(Serves 2, with leftovers)
1 cup Brown Rice
2 large Sweet Potatoes
1 organic Vegetable Stock cube
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp Sunflower Oil
300 g Brown Mushrooms
1 large courgette
2 cups of spinach
2 tins organic chopped tomatoes
1 can organic brown lentils
Salt and pepper
1 can Organic Chickpeas
1 lemon (large! Or 2 small ones to be safe)
1 Tbsp Tahini
1 clove garlic
1 tsp Cumin
Aprox. 1/4 cup water (use as required)
1) Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees
2) Prep your Sweet Potato by slicing into wedges and placing on a lined oven-tray with a small drizzle of Sunflower oil, salt and Rosemary. Bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes or until cooked and crispy.
3) In a large saucepan - put the brown rice with two cups of cold water and stock cube. Bring to boil and then lower heat to a gentle simmer. Test the rice after 20 minutes. I like mine pretty chewy!
4) Prep all vegetables by dicing onion and garlic and slicing mushrooms and courgette. Keep separate.
5) Add sunflower oil to a large frying pan or wok on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, sautéing until lightly brown.
6) Add mushrooms and courgette. Stir these through for a few minutes, keeping heat evenly distributed.
7) Lower the heat and add tinned tomatoes, lentils, spinach a generous amount of thyme, salt and pepper.
8) Keep on a low simmer for at least ten minutes. Ideally the longer this has, the nicer it will taste :) Check flavour regularly, adding more seasoning as required.
9) Now it's Hummus o'clock - woot. Super simple and super fast. All you need to do is combine all ingredients in a powerful, high speed blender (except the water.) Add water gradually, beginning with just a few tablespoons and add more as required. Taste as you go and add more salt, water or lemon juice as you like :)
10) Drain the brown rice of any remaining water and add final seasonings to your sauce.
11) To serve - begin with a bed of brown rice, add a few leaves of raw spinach and finish with a large spoonful of sauce. Be generous with the veggies! I sleeves my wedges on the side with a bowl of hummus for dipping.
As a swerving suggestion - try with some vegan cheese! Vegusto gets my vote for vegan cheese that actually tastes good.
You'll Need: A large Pot and one Saucepan
Time: 1 hour
Serves: 4 portions (or 2 very generous ones!)
2 cups brown rice (uncooked)
2 Sweet Potatoes
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 Large onion
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp Cumin
1/2 Tbsp Cinnamon
500g Brown Mushrooms
4 pitted Dates
1 can Organic Chick-peas, cooked and drained
1 can Organic chopped Tomatoes
3 Organic Vegetable Stock cubes
Optional - Bread for serving
1) Crank your favourite cooking music to sing along to (or your favourite pod-cast). You can cook in silnece. That's allowed. Or you can be even dorkier and learn lines while cooking. Who the hell would do that? *Me
2) Dice your onion and garlic, but keep them seperate.
3) Put Coconut Oil in your large pan on a medium heat. Once melted - add your onion and cook until slightly browned.
4) Add cumin, cinnamon and some Coriander. Cook these together for a minute or two. Then add your diced garlic. Stir and cook for another few minutes.
5) While these are cooking, chop your sweet potato into small chunks (leaving skin on) and slice your mushrooms. Also put your kettle on to boil for your veggie stock.
6) Add both into the pot and stir to ensure they all get a nice coating of spices and flavour. Once kettle is boiled - add boiling water (1 pint) to your stock cubes and stir.
7) Put 2 cups of brown rice into a large saucepan with 4 cups of cold water and 1 veggie stock cup. Put on high heat with a lid on. Once this is boiling, give a quick stir (for the stock cube) lower the heat right down and let simmer for approximately 20 - 25 minutes. Check your rice after 20. I like mine a little chewy, but to leave it for longer it can be as simple as leaving aside on no heat, but with the lid on. Your rice will continue to cook.
8) Add tinned tomatoes, dates and vegetable stock to your large pot. Combine all ingredients.
9) Add Coriander, parsley, salt and pepper. Leave to simmer until sweet potato is soft and cooked through.
10) After your mixture has been simmering at least 15 minutes, check the flavours and add more herbs/seasoning as desired.
11) Serve with brown rice, your hot-pot a sprinkling of Coriander and some optional greens on the side.
12) ENJOY and DEVOUR
On Christmas Day, there was a mild stress.
I NEED SOME KIND OF GRAVY!
2014 was my first time hosting Christmas Day and doing a hell of a load of cooking. The morning of I realized I'd neglected to plan any kind of sauce to go along with our pies, veggies and roast spuds. Invention needed to happen and, thankfully, that seems to be when my best ideas come about.
The "gravy" ended up being everyone's part of the meal and I've made it twice since with different meals.
It can be used as a Mushroom Sauce or a gravy, in my opinion. If using as a gravy, there is the option to run the mixture through a sieve and remove all lumps!
Makes - approximately 1.5 liters
Time - 1 hour
600g Brown Mushrooms, diced
2 cloves garlic
3 Tablespoons Vegan Butter
2 Tablespoons Wholemeal Plain Flour
2 Vegetable Stock Cubes
1 Liter Boiling water
1/2 cup Soy Milk
Salt and Pepper
1) Music. On. Done.
2) Prep your veggies by dicing your onion, garlic cloves and all mushrooms.
3) Melt one tablespoon of Vegan butter in a large, non-stick pan. Add the onion and garlic and saute till brown.
4) Add all mushrooms, remaining vegan butter and 1tbsp of Dried Rosemary. Stir continuously, moving the heat around evenly. Continue until mushrooms are cooked.
5) While your mushrooms are cooking - put water on to boil. In a measuring jug, combine the boiling water with both veggie stock cubes.
6) Add flour to the mushroom mixture and stir together. This will make a very thick paste.
7) Add your liquid veggie stock to the mushroom mixture slowly. Stir, stir, stir!
8) Allow this to simmer for approximately fifteen minutes. It will gradually thicken up.
9) Add the soy milk, salt and pepper - stir again.
10) Season with any more rosemary, salt and pepper to taste.
Serving suggestion - serve with a massive jacket potato, veggie sausages and roasted carrots.
When I ate meat - Chorizo was my favorite thing. Maybe more so than bacon. I loved Chorizo. My friend Dan and I would make a Mushroom and Chorizo pasta with creamy sauce that was to die for.... of course it was! With that combination??! Who cares how insanely unhealthy it was, it tasted brilliant.
I've never been into meat substitutes (apart from veggie sausages with a big breakfast!), I've never had the need for them. I genuinely would rather eat vegetables.... every time. I love Tofu, for some reason... but again, don't buy it often to make myself.
Out shopping the other day, I saw for the very first time a MASSIVE "vegan chorizo" sausage in the 8th Day in Manchester. I wouldn't ever normally buy things like that (how healthy can that be, really??) but nostalgia hit me and I wanted to make myself and Dan the ultimate VEGAN version of our old favorite.
Serves: 2 with some leftovers
Time: About 40 minutes
1 packet of wholemeal/Spelt Spaghetti
500g Brown Mushrooms, washed and sliced
100g Sun-dried Tomatoes, drained
Head of Kale (at least 5 large leaves)
Vegan Chorizo/Meat substitute (optional)
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp Sunflower oil
1 tbsp Vegan butter (sunflower spread or soy spread)
2 springs fresh rosemary
Watercress for garnish
Salt and Pepper
I loved this dish.... but think it would have been even better WITHOUT the Chorizo. I guess I've just been vegan too long... as we were eating, we both agreed that the veggies were way more delicious than the substitute...which really, is hard to enjoy when you're not sure what you're eating.
If you want to make this dish - I say either add your favorite meat substitute, or just leave it without. The pasta will be mega tasty regardless! You can just call it "Mushroom and Kale Pasta" ;)
1) As usual, begin by playing some music. Suggestion? Oh, okay fine.
You officially know way too much about me right now.
I'm ashamed. But I'm not.
Or, for a much more eclectic, cool, interesting and share-able listen - my favorite podcast at the moment is "Serial" from the makers of This American Life. It's utterly brilliant. I've linked to it below. I have literally four podcasts that I've ever wanted to listen to - TAL, Conversations with Richard Fidler, Rich Roll and Serial. I'm not a massive podcast listener - but these are amazing. And it's great to listen to while cooking :)
2) Put a large saucepan of water on to boil
3) In a large frying pan/wok heat your sunflower oil.
4) Dice your onion and garlic. Add to oil and saute until nicely browned.
5) Add sliced mushrooms and sunflower spread. Stir around in the pan, letting everything cook evenly.
6) Add your meat substitute if you choose to use one. Make sure each piece get a nice bit of crisp around the edges.
7) Add sun-dried tomatoes, kale, rosemary, salt and pepper. Tear your kale into small pieces and only use the leaves. The stalks stay very tough! Combine all together and let the flavors simmer.
8) Add your pasta to the boiling water. Let cook for approximately 20 minutes. Test and drain when ready.
9) Add pasta to your frying pan (not all of it, about half to start with) and mix all together. Combine the pasta with your mushroom "sauce" (though it won't be very saucy) and try to make sure you get all the flavors together. It's good not to use all the pasta immediately - because you may not need all of it.
10) Add some final sprinklings of rosemary, salt and pepper. Taste.
11) Serve out your pasta and finish each dish with fresh watercress. Delicious!
I love how fresh and green this pasta looks. It's good for you, super tasty and filling! Food shouldn't leave you feeling hungry, so don't feel guilty about eating pasta. If you have problems with gluten - this with quinoa pasta or spelt is equally amazing and tasty.
Love and Sweet Potatoes!
- Hannah xx
Published by Vilda Magazine 26/9/14
One of my favourite childhood meals was tuna fishcakes. My Dad always made them: Tuna with mashed potato and sweet corn. Then he'd fried them off and I would devour about a million with mayonnaise slathered on top.
Yum, yum, in my tum. I was a healthy child ;)
These days I genuinely do not ever crave the foods of my past... but every now and then I enjoy a challenge and being inventive. I usually get inspired wandering the shops, getting a whiff of dill, remembering fish and I think: hmm.. I wonder if I can create something!
This recipe I invented the other night - a rare night in these days! An opportunity to get in the kitchen and COOK. I miss cooking so, so much (slightly busy at the minute) and feel I definitely owe my little blog some recipes!
I have an amazing friend staying with me at the moment, Dan and he is being so kind and enjoying my crazy vegan cooking. We devoured these "cakes" with a heap of roasted vegetables and a giant bowl of greens.
No joke - the bowl of greens worked into being the hit of the meal. It was simply a head of lettuce, steamed kale, celery, basil and lemon juice. SO DELICIOUS. So much iron, so much protein, so so good.
For the full "Perfect Vegan Fish Cakes" recipe - click here!