Brownies with a Vegan Twist

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One of the most common questions you get as a vegan is ‘don’t you miss cake’? Well the good news is my lovelies- there is such a thing as vegan cake! Yes- you can make a cake without butter or eggs! I decided that I would make something that everyone loves… brownies with a vegan twist. I know what your thinking ‘brownies with a vegan twist’ hmmm probably should make them for Mum- but don’t worry there is nothing green in these just two super ripe bananas.

Ingredients

  • Two super ripe bananas- (If you are vegan ripe bananas are like holy water so make sure you buy extra that week and save them!)
  • 300g dark chocolate
  • 170g self raising flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 5 tbsps of sunflower oil or coconut oil if you are feeling extra healthy
  • 1tsp of baking powder
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 3 shot glasses of almond milk (again with the odd measurement, sorry!)

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Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper
  2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 2 minuets- if you don’t like using microwaves you can always do it in a bain-marie which, is where you place a glass or heatproof bowl on top of a saucepan of simmering water.
  3. Mash the two ripe bananas with the vanilla extract with a fork. This should be super easy if your bananas are ripe enough.
  4. Sift the flour, sugar and baking powder into a large bowl or your electric mixer.
  5. Add the melted chocolate, bananas, sunflower oil and almond milk and mix together.
  6. Once everything has been mixed together. Pour the batter into your baking tray and cook for around 1 hour.
  7. Check the brownies after 40 minuets, you can tell if they are done by shaking the tray. If the batter wobbles all over then they need more cooking! Although it’s okay to have a little wobble in the middle, this makes them extra gooey!
  8. Once you are happy with the consistency, leave them to cool for around half an hour in the tin. If you try to cut them while they are hot they will fall apart.
  9. Once cool serve with your favourite tea, and a catch up with your best buddies.

 

Waiting for Pay Day Soup

Wating-for-Payday-soup

We’ve all been there, it’s got a week until pay day you have £0.18 left in your bank account, a couple of pennies at the bottom of your bag and all you want is something decent- not just pasta with a can of tomatoes chucked on top. I had a few random veggies left in my fridge which really needed eating so I decided to make a soup. The measurements and the variety of vegetables are a little odd (lots of green pepper- always the last thing to be eaten) but you can use whatever you have left in the fridge! It’s the whole point of this soup!

Ingredients

  • 1 potato
  • 2 green peppers
  • ½ a carrot
  • 1 can on tomatoes
  • 1 can of cannellini beans
  • 1 onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 mug of vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A sprinkle of mixed dried herbs
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • 3 tsp of flaked chilli

Method

  1. Chop the onions, garlic and celery into small chunks and sauté in some olive oil and salt.
  2. While they are softening, chop the rest of the vegetables into similar sized chunks and add them to the pan to sauté a little more. (apart from the tin of tomatoes and beans.)
  3. After about 3 minuets, add the spices and cover the veggies in stock and a can of tomatoes.
  4. Leave to simmer for around 15 minuets or until it has reduced but 1/3.
  5. Now, rinse the can of beans under some cold water. This step is really important- the brine that they are kept in can make you a bit gassy if you do not wash it off!
  6. Add to the soup and then transfer half to your blender. With mixed veggie soups I like to leave some chunky bits- but you can blend the whole thing if you want!
  7. Now mix everything back together and serve with a crusty white roll and some avocado.

 

Vegan Fajitas & Homemade Guac

vegan fajitas

I think most people, before (they go vegan) are worried that they will get sick of eating veggies but if you think about it- you eat meat, dairy and eggs everyday and you don’t seem to be bored of them… The key to cooking is changing up seasoning and Mexican spices work perfectly with veggies. These vegan fajitas are quick, light and easy and make cooking after a long day at work 10 times easier. This normally makes enough for two meals and it’s great cold the next day.

Ingredients

• 1 red pepper
• 1 yellow pepper
• 2 tomatoes
• 1 onion (red or white)
• 1 avocado
• The juice of 1 lime
• 3-5 wraps (depending on how many you can eat).
• 2 large handfuls of fresh spinach.
• A splash of olive oil
• 3 tsp of cayenne pepper
• 3tsp of cumin
• Salt and pepper

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Method

1. Roughly chop the onion (This is a quick and easy recipe so don’t worry about dicing it finely). Then soften in a pan with some olive oil.
2. Chop the peppers into thick strips (about and inch wide). Add to the pan once the onion has softened a little.
3. Dice the tomatoes and add them to the pan as well.
4. Chuck in all the spices, give the veggies a stir. If you feel like the dish needs more spice then feel free to add some more!
5. Fry the veg on a low/medium heat and add a little water if you feel like they are sticking to the bottom.
6. While the veggies are cooking you can make the guacamole. But don’t forget to keep an eye on them, stirring every now and again.
7. Cut the avocado in half and remove the stone by smacking you knife into the middle and twisting it (It should come out pretty easily).
8. Spoon the avocado into a wide bowl and squeeze in the lime juice.
9. Season with salt and smash with a fork.
10. Your veggies should be soft and ready to eat now so serve with some tortilla wraps and some fresh spinach.
11. Enjoy, and try not to get too messy!

A Proper Vegan Birthday Cake

vegan birthday cake

It was my flatmate, Kat’s birthday this weekend so I decided I would attempt to make a vegan birthday cake for her. I wanted to do the proper unhealthy kind, full of refined sugar and covered in icing. Not, some Deliciously Ella, gluten free, buckwheat flour, goji berry nonsense. After all it is your birthday, it only happens once a year so you can get away with eating junk as long as it is cruelty free.

The cake did end up being a bit of a fail, I didn’t grease the tins enough so it ended up being half a birthday cake… But it’s the thought that counts right? Plus, it tasted pretty amazing if I do say so myself. I basically followed my grandmother’s recipe for a classic cake mix and just replace the butter and eggs with vegan alternatives (it is in ounces sorry!)

Ingredients:

For the Cake

  • 6oz of vegan butter
  • 6oz of caster sugar
  • 6oz of self raising flour
  • 3tsp of vanilla extract
  • 3 shot glasses of almond milk (sorry about this measurement, it was the closest thing I could find to be the same quantity as an egg. It’s probably about 2 tablespoons per shot glass.)
  • 2 tsp of baking powder

For the Icing

  • 3oz of vegan butter
  • 6oz of icing sugar
  • 2tsp of vanilla extract
  • A splash of almond milk
  • Vegan food colouring. If you are using pink you need to look out for carmine or E120 which is ground up beetles (ewww). I used sugar flare which you can get in Lakeland.
  • Sprinkles- again look for beeswax and carmine on the ingredients list.

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Method:

For The Cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 180° and grease your tins! I would suggest using greaseproof paper, to prevent you from ending up with half a cake like me!
  2. Beat the vegan butter and caster sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy.
  3. Slowly add a shot of almond milk, vegan butter can curdle more easily than dairy butter.
  4. If you find that the mixture starts to curdle add a tablespoon of flour and beat again.
  5. Once all the almond milk is beaten in, add the vanilla extract and sift the flour and baking power into the wet mixture and fold in gently with a large metal spoon.
  6. Once all the mixture is combined, divide equally between two sandwich tins and bake in the oven until golden. This normally takes around half an hour but check after 20 minuets.

For the Icing

  1. While your cake is baking you can get started on the icing.
  2. Sift the icing sugar, and add the vegan butter, vanilla extract and food colouring into a bowl and beat.
  3. You shouldn’t need to add any almond milk or water, but if it does look crumbly add a little.
  4. Make sure you don’t add to much or the icing could get really runny. It should be thick and creamy and have a shiny glossy effect when you spread it over something.
  5. Take your cake out of the oven and leave to cool for at least two hours- preferably more.
  6. Ice the the top and the middle layers of the cake, scatter with sprinkles and add some candles and your ready to go.
  7. Now all that’s left is to drink lots of wine and party all night.

The Ultimate Vegan Hangover Cure

A vEGAN brunch of Avo on toast, homemade baked beans, garlic mushrooms and hash browns.

vegan hangover breakfast
Warning- this was written by a very hungover vegan- apologies if it doesn’t make much sense…

I think one of the main misconceptions people have about vegans is that they are all a bunch of boring, party pooping, teetotallers. However, this vegan is not one of them. Going vegan doesn’t mean that you have to give up your social life, if you like to party then party, drink what you want (as long as it’s not harming any animals) and feel absolutely awful the next day. Have a look at this great website that has a list of what alcohol you can drink if you are vegan- pretty much if it’s a spirt you are safe. Here is my ultimate vegan hangover cure… And no, we don’t miss bacon but we do get hangovers.

Ingredients

For the Avo on Toast:

  • ½ an avocado
  • A pinch of salt
  • Dried chili flakes
  • A squeeze of lime juice

For the mushrooms:

  • ½ a box of mushrooms (you can use any but I like chestnut or Portobello)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • A splash of olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the beans:

  • 1 a can of your favourite beans (I like black eyed)
  • ½ a can of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • A splash of olive oil

For the hash browns:

  • 3 oven bake hash browns.

Most of the time they are cooked in sunflower oil so you are normal okay just check the ingredients list for milk and eggs before you buy them. Alternatively, you can make your own, Deliciously Ella has a great recipe in her book but they are a bit of a faff to make- not the best idea when you are hanging.

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Method

  1. While you are cooking, it’s a great idea to rehydrate so, pour yourself a pint of water and a big glass of orange juice to get some vitamins back into you, it will make you feel a lot better…. Trust me on this one!
  2. Heat your oven to 200°C and put your hash browns in to cook.
  3. Chop your six cloves of garlic into small chunks, put one half into a small frying pan and the other in a sauce pan with some olive oil.
  4. Fry the garlic on a low heat until soft.
  5. While the garlic is frying you can chop up your mushrooms and then add them to the frying pan.
  6. Stir them around and let them get coated in the oil, lower the heat and add a little water so they don’t burn.
  7. You can now leave them to simmer for 10-15 minuets (or until they are soft). Make sure you stir them every now and then.
  8. Then add ½ a tin of tomatoes and the can of beans to the small sauce pan
  9. Add the spices and sugar and leave to simmer on a medium heat until the tomato sauce has reduced.
  10. You can now toast the bread. (If you are feeling extra garlicy, peal a raw clove of garlic and rub it on the toast before you add the avocado).
  11. Then, smash the avocado onto the toast with a fork and sprinkle with salt, chili and lime juice.
  12. Once everything is cooked shove it on a plate and munch until you can’t move…
  13. Have a nap.

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