Mushroom Risotto

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Yes I know I know, mushroom risotto is such a typical vegetarian option, but it is honestly one of my favourite things. Plus I only found out recently that you could get the same creamy texture without cheese! I’ve put a little twist on this by adding a few finely chopped tomatoes and red wine instead of white.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large portabello mushrooms
  • 1 large handful of dried porcini mushrooms plus stock
  • 1 cup of risotto rice
  • 4-6 cups of vegetable stock
  • 2 tomatoes
  • A splash of olive oil
  • 2 small red onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Parsley to top
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Sweat the onions and garlic in the olive oil until soft. While they are cooking re-hydrate the porcini mushrooms.
  2. Chop the portabello mushrooms into small chunks and stir into the onions and garlic with the rice, salt and pepper.
  3. Add the porcini mushrooms, their stock and a splash of red wine, then stir the rice until all the water has evaporated.
  4. Repeat this process, adding one cup of water at a time until the rice is creamy.
  5. Serve with some salt, pepper and roughly chopped parsley.

Chocolate and Banana Muffins

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I’ve been in a baking mood recently, and I have got lots of ripe bananas, so I thought I’d have a go at making one of my favourite childhood recipes: chocolate and banana muffins. This time, I went with the same theory as keeping the fat equal to the flour, sugar and eggs (well I used bananas as an egg replacer) and it works if you add a little more flour because the bananas make the cake quite sticky. These muffins turned out super moist and even my little sister who isn’t a very big fan of me going vegan said she couldn’t tell the difference!

Ingredients: (Makes 16)

  • 170g coconut oil
  • 180g self raising flour
  • 170g brown or coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 100g chopped up dark chocolate (make sure it is over 75% cocoa)
  • 4 bananas mashed
  • 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Method:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180°C and line a muffin tray with cake cases.
  2. Beat the coconut oil and sugar together until it is pale and creamy
  3. Add the mashed bananas, vinegar and vanilla extract and continue beating until the mixture is fully combined and not curdling.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into the bowl.
  5. Add the chopped chocolate and fold all the dry ingredients into the wet with a large metal spoon.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the cake cases around ¾ full and bake in the oven until golden brown, this should take around 12-15 minuets.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

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This is the perfect thing to make for people who are reluctant to try your vegan creations! I made this vegan chocolate cake for mothers day, after my sister was complaining that now I don’t eat butter or eggs, we will never get to make cakes together again! So I proved her wrong by making this delicious chocolatey pudding!

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 125g ground hazelnuts
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 100g melted coconut oil
  • 150-200ml almond milk
  • 4 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 200g brown or coconut sugar

For the Icing:

  • 100g coconut oil
  • 100g melted dark chocolate (make sure it is over 75% cocoa)
  • 200g icing sugar
  • Dash of water to form the desired consistency

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line your cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine.
  3. Then melt the coconut oil and stir using an electric mixer or handheld whisk.
  4. Add the apple cider vinegar to the almond milk and slowly pour it into the cake mixture.
  5. Stop adding almond milk when you have a thick batter.
  6. Spoon into the cake tin and cook for around 45 minuets, if you are worried about the top burning, cover it with tin foil after 30 minutes.
  7. Once the cake is cooked, leave it to cool while you make the icing.
  8. Melt the chocolate and beat in with the icing sugar and coconut oil, make sure you don’t melt the coconut oil!
  9. The consistency of the icing will be thick and crumbly so turn your mixer onto low and slowly add water bit by bit.

When I first made this I went with the approach of adding all the ingredients together, including the water and beating it fast until the mixture combined – but THIS DOES NOT WORK! You need to stir it slowly and encourage the water and oil to combine (making an emulsion)!

  1. Once the icing is to thick and creamy, cover the chocolate cake with it and scatter raspberries over the top.

Mango and Banana Smoothie

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So as some of you may know I have been trying to eat ‘raw till 4’ for the past few weeks, which means that I have been munching on lots of fruit! I often eat a whole melon for breakfast, but this mango and banana smoothie is my ultimate fuel for a busy day! If you want to add some greens to this smoothie you can.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 bananas (depending on size)—yes this may look like a lot of fruit but I have these smoothies as a meal. If you are just starting on this lifestyle try 2 or 3 bananas with porridge or cereal in the morning. Think about it, you would be ok with eating 6 slices of Domino’s pizza!
  • 2 mangoes
  • Handful of ice (you can freeze some of the bananas to give it a really smooth texture)
  • 2 cups of water
  • The juice of 1 lime

 

Method:

  1. Make sure that all your fruit is ripe, particularly the bananas (they should be deep yellow and spotty).
  2. Throw everything in the blender and blitz until smooth!

Sweet Potato and Spinach Curry

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This sweet potato curry is so quick and easy to make, it also happens to be low in fat. Making big batches of curries, soups and stews is perfect for students, especially if you are not eating meat or cheese because it is super cheap but so good for you! I normally make a big batch of something (this week it’s curry) and eat it in the evenings throughout the week. It’s healthy and wholesome fast food!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tins of tomatoes
  • 1 tin of coconut milk (I like to use the reduced fat one but you can use full fat if you want to!)
  • 400ml of water.
  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes
  • 2-3 large handfuls of split red lentils
  • 2-3 large handfuls of frozen peas
  • 2-3 large handfuls of organic baby spinach (It is really important to by organic leaves because the pesticides will absorb into them!)
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons of garam masala
  • 1/2 tablespoon of ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • Lime Juice (serve each person with 1/2)
  • Fresh coriander
  • Enough brown rice for each serving (1/2 cup per person)

 

Method:

  1. Chop the sweet potatoes into small chunks, don’t worry about pealing them the skins are really good for you. Just give them a little bit of a scrub if they are muddy.
  2. Pre heat the oven to 175 degrees C.
  3. Put the spices, potatoes, coconut milk, tomatoes, water and lentils in a big pan and heat until the curry is bubbling.
  4. Put in the oven with the lid on for around 45 minutes.
  5. After 30 minuets start cooking the brown rice, and then about 5 minutes until the end add the frozen peas.
  6. Once the curry and rice is cooked, stir in the baby spinach and let it wilt. Then serve with a sprinkle of fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime.