Spicy buffalo cauliflower wings

Us vegans have all seen these buffalo cauliflower wings done a million times before, and the recipes are all pretty much the same… so why haven’t you tried making them yet?!  DO IT.

I’m a huge fan of cauliflower and spicy foods in general, so these tick some serious boxes for me.  No need for boring steamed cauliflower with dinner when you can whip these babies up instead.  If you don’t like hot stuff then you can substitute the hot sauce for BBQ sauce instead, or go half of each if you’re not too sure.

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Not the quickest of recipes so make a big batch and be patient.  Perfect for tapas or with a big salad, and don’t forget the ranch sauce!  Which I should also share the recipe for that with you… so many recipes, so little time.

The below makes enough for 2 side servings, or one serving if you’re just going to eat the whole thing and nothing else 🙂

Ingredients

1 small head of cauliflower (works out to be around 2.5 cups of florets – if you have a huge cauliflower then just double the below recipe)

1/3 cup of flour

¼ cup plant based milk (soy, hemp, almond, whatever – as long as it’s unsweetened)

¼ cup water

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

½ tsp cumin

½ tsp hot smoked paprika (omit if you prefer less spicy)

Couple of cracks of sea salt and black pepper

1 Tbsp vegan butter

½ cup hot sauce (I use Franks hot sauce.  Sriracha is a bit less spicy, but can still be used.  Whatever you have handy really!)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 200C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Cut/break washed cauliflower into small florets.

Mix together all remaining ingredients apart from the butter and hot sauce, into a shallow bowl, to form a batter.

Dip the cauliflower florets, one at a time, into the batter and ensure they’re completely coated.  Gently shake the florets of any excess batter if they are a bit drippy!

Transfer the battered florets onto the lined baking tray, and ensure there is plenty of space between them, to allow even cooking.

Place in the oven for 30 minutes, turning over once halfway through.

While the cauliflower is cooking, add the butter and hot sauce (or BBQ sauce/sriracha if using instead) to a medium sized saucepan.  Heat on low until the butter has just melted and the sauce/butter is fully combined.

When the florets have finished in the oven, add them (carefully!) to the saucepan with the sauce and gently use a spoon to mix and coat in the hot sauce.  (At this stage of the process my eyes were watering from the sauce fumes floating up from the saucepan… LOVE IT!)

Once coated, place the florets back onto the baking sheet, space evenly and return to the oven for 30 minutes.  Again, turn once halfway through cooking.

When cooked, remove from the oven and serve immediately with your favourite ranch dressing and eat ALL of them!

 

Time to make: 10 minutes prep/coating, 30 minutes in the oven, 5 minutes re-coating, 30 more minutes in the oven = 1 hour and 15 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  3/5 Bit of faffing involved in this one with the re-coating and it is quite time intensive

#nowplaying 65daysofstatic – Radio Protector

Berry baked oats

It’s that time of year when smoothies for breakfast every day just won’t cut it anymore.  TOO COLD mate.  I get bored of porridge every day too, so here’s a little twist on porridge, using most of the same ingredients.  Sneaky.

It’s a good idea to make this ahead of time if you’re wanting to eat it during the week and you’re not a homeworker/homemaker, as it takes a while in the oven.  Luckily you can freeze this into portions and stick them in the oven while you have your morning shower.  It’ll be ready to go when you’re all fresh and lovely out of the shower (after slopping some vegan vanilla yogurt on top, natch).

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Berries are brilliant for you, and there is very little difference between frozen and fresh as far as nutrient density goes.  I keep a pack of blueberries and one of raspberries in the freezer at all times – perfect for smoothies or these types of recipes.  The oats and chia seeds will give you a fiber kick (oooh-er!), the flax seeds your daily Omega 3 intake and the milk your B12/calcium needs.  SORTED guys.

Ingredients

1 cup oats

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

2 Tbsp chia seeds

2 Tbsp flax seeds

2 Tbsp agave

1 cup plant milk (I used hemp for this recipe, but feel free to use soy/oat/hazelnut etc.)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups frozen berries (I used one cup blueberries, one cup raspberries)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 190C/375F

Grease a baking dish with butter/oil – my baking dish was 30cm x 20cm

Grab a small bowl and add the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, chia and flax seeds and stir to combine

Grab another bowl and add the agave, milk and vanilla extract and stir to combine

Place one cup of the berries onto the greased baking dish and spread evenly

Add the oat mixture to the baking dish, being careful to distribute evenly

Pour the milk mixture into the baking dish

Add the remainder of the berries on top, distributing evenly

Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until browned on top and cooked through

Serve with yogurt, cream or by itself!

 

Time to make: 10 minutes prep, 45 minutes in the oven = 55 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 2, not too difficult, just make sure you get an even spread of everything in your baking dish!

#nowplaying Angel Olsen – Shut Up, Kiss Me

 

Mexican corn and quinoa salad

Alright guys – it’s nearly not salad weather anymore, woop!  Not that I hate salad or anything, I just prefer my food cooked (I’d be a terrible raw til 4 participant).

THIS salad however, is a winner.  Don’t tell your non-vegan friends it has quinoa in it though, because you know what they get like when they hear KEEN-WAH.  All they need to know is it’s tasty and yum and shut up and eat it.  Good.

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Getting right into Mexican flavours lately, as you’ll see in some upcoming Instagram posts and posts on this here website.  Mexican food can be super vegan friendly, and something I rarely came across growing up, so excuse me while I get all “must. veganise. every. Mexican. dish.” on you.

This salad is awesome the next day so make a big batch and eat it when you need it.  Make the quinoa ahead of time and you’re laughing as well.

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Ingredients

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup corn kernels (I cooked two ears of corn under the grill and sliced it off, but feel free to use canned corn, or thawed frozen corn)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 red pepper/capsicum, halved
1 jalapeños, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lime, juiced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
6 or 7 cherry tomatoes, chopped in half

Instructions

Cook quinoa according to the packet directions.  Set aside to cool.

Place the halved pepper under the grill and char on both sides on medium-high heat, approximately 10 minutes on each side.  Remove from the grill and set aside.

When the quinoa is cooled down, add the remaining ingredients, along with the peppers/capsicum, and stir to combine.

Serve alongside your favourite Mexican dishes – of course!

Time to make: 10 minutes prep, 20 minutes to cook quinoa/peppers, 5 minutes to combine = 35 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 2, pretty simple stuff here.  Make it harder (but tastier) by grilling your corn before adding it to the rest of the ingredients

#nowplaying Modjo* – Lady (Hear Me Tonight)  (not my usual style but it reminds me of better times 🙂 )

Matcha-lime cheesecake (vegan/raw)

Probably the sexiest thing I have ever made to date…

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I recently bought a (very expensive) small packet of matcha on a whim and wasn’t sure what kind of recipe to incorporate it into.  There are so many options for adding matcha to sweet treats, so making a raw cheesecake seemed like a good option.  I’m a big fan of citrus fruits, and matcha kinda goes with lime (they’re both green, right?!) – and adding pineapple to the second layer makes it ultra citrus-y and delicious.

img_6649There are plenty of recipes for raw cheesecakes online, so just search around for what you think you might like and go from there.  As with all the recipes on this blog this one is dairy and egg free.

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If you have a spare day on the weekend you’ll smash this one… patience you must have, my young padawan 😉

 

Ingredients

Base

1 cup desiccated coconut

1 cup almonds (you can sub for any other nut here – hazelnuts or pecans would work)

6 medjool dates

Middle layer

1 cup cashews soaked for at least 4 hours (best overnight if possible)

1/2 cup of coconut milk

1/2 cup pineapple pieces (fresh or from a tin)

1/2 cup agave or brown rice syrup

Top layer

1/2 cup cashews (again, soaked overnight)

1/3 cup coconut milk

2 Tbsp agave or brown rice syrup

juice of two limes

1 Tbsp matcha powder

 

Method

Base layer – Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until well combined, around 60 seconds.  Scrape down the side as necessary.

Transfer to a small springform cake tin, lined with baking parchment.  Press down evenly.

Transfer tin to the fridge/freezer while you work on the second layer.

Middle layer – Add the cashews to the blender and blend until almost smooth.  Scrape down the sides as necessary.

Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

Remove your cake tin from the fridge/freezer and add the blended middle layer to the top, using the back of a spatula to ensure even coverage.

Transfer cake tin to the freezer and allow to freeze for at least one hour.

Top layer – As with the middle layer, blend the cashews first.

Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.  If the colour is too pale green add some more matcha and blend again.

Remove the cake tin from the freezer (after allowed hour) and transfer the top layer onto the middle layer.

Smooth with the back of a spatula and then place back in the freezer.

Allow at least an hour to freeze.

When ready to serve, allow five to ten minutes out of the freezer before cutting.

 

Time to make: 15 minutes for each layer, 2 hours in the freezer = 2 hours 45 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 3.5, each layer is kinda straightforward, but there’s the fun of going back and forth to the freezer.

#nowplaying Deap Vally – Smile More

Basic bitch banana & walnut bread

I LOVE me a good banana bread.  There are so many things you can put in them (blueberries, chocolate chips, poppyseed etc.) and many and varied ways of making the bread itself.  Because you’re on this blog however, let me show you how to make yourself a basic bitch VEGAN banana bread.

No weird ingredients, no faffing, just basic and hot damn tasty.  When I make this bread it rarely makes it out of the house, or lasts for longer than a day, it’s SO yum.  I’ll usually make bread when I have overloaded on smoothie bananas in the freezer and have to use up ultra spotty bananas some other way.

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If you manage not to scoff the entire loaf within hours of it coming out of the oven, it’s a good idea to cut into slices and individually wrap them – chuck them in the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer if you want to keep some for later.

But honestly, it won’t last long 😉

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Nice nuts.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar of your choice)

2 medium bananas, mashed

1/3 cup plant milk (I used hemp in this recipe but any other plant milk will be fine)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, plus a few reserved for the topping

Instructions

Preheat oven to 185C (365F).

Grease and line a 20cm x 12cm (or thereabouts) loaf tin.

In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl combine the oil and sugar.  Stir until well combined.

Add the bananas and milk to the large bowl with the sugar and oil, and stir well.

Transfer the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.  Fold in the walnuts (feel free to add chocolate chips or blueberries here instead!).

Transfer the mix to the lined baking tin.  Place the reserved walnuts on top for decoration.

Place the tin on the middle rack in the oven and cook for around 45 minutes, rotating half way.

Check to see if ready by inserting a toothpick into the middle of the bread – if it comes out clean you should be ready to go.

Allow to cool (if you have the patience for it…) for 30 minutes, then slice and serve.

Time to make: 10 minutes prep, 45 minutes cooking = around an hour, plus cooling time

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  1.5.  Basic bitch is as basic bitch does!

#nowplaying PiL – Death Disco

Sausage & black bean casserole (vegan)

It’s almost casserole season whoop whoop!  Living in London means it’s basically always casserole season though – do we even have a summer? 🙂 If you’re feeling like something hearty, warm and filling a casserole is always the answer.  They’re also awesome because you can have them with anything – mashed spuds, cauliflower rice, basic bitch rice, on top of nachos, with chips etc.

The beauty of casseroles is that you can chuck any old thing in them and provided you like the ingredients they will always turn out tasty.  Just get your base right (some kind of protein, onions, herbs/spices, stock, tomato-y stuff) and you’re laughing. 

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This is one of those meals that also freezes well, so it’s brilliant for meal planning and those who don’t have time to cook something epic every night.  For a slightly healthier version, omit the sausages and add more of your favourite beans.  If you’re after a protein-packed meal (#proteinaholic), they don’t come much better than this ladies and gentlemen.

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Ingredients

2 Tbsp oil

6-8 vegan sausages (I’m a fan of Fry’s – they’re big on protein if you’re into that kind of thing)

1 medium white onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

½ tsp smoked paprika (you can use chili powder if you prefer)

200g chopped/diced tomatoes

200ml vegetable stock

1 Tbsp tomato puree

½ Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

½ Tbsp coconut sugar (or any sugar you have to hand)

¼ tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp dried sage (if you have mixed herbs you can sub that for the sage and oregano)

2 sprigs of fresh thyme (or sub for ½ tsp dried)

1 bay leaf

50 ml red wine (or sub for water if you don’t want to use wine)

200g (half a can) of black beans

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Method

Heat the oil in a fry pan and fry the sausages according to the packet instructions.  Fry’s usually take around 8 minutes to brown all over.

Place the sausages in a large saucepan and set aside.  At this point you can chop the sausages up into bite sized pieces, alternatively leave them whole.

Place the onions in the fry pan on medium heat and fry until translucent, around five minutes.  Add more oil if the onions are sticking to the pan.

Add the crushed garlic and cook for around 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Be careful not to burn the garlic!

Add the paprika and stir to combine.

Add the tomatoes, stock, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, herbs and bay leaf and stir to combine.

Add the wine and bring to a simmer, turning up the heat if needed.

Tip into the saucepan containing the sausages and again bring to simmering point.

Reduce heat and cover the saucepan with a lid.

Allow to simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain and rinse the black beans and add to the casserole, stirring to distribute.

Cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and allowing the sauce to thicken.

Serve immediately with mash, cauliflower rice or some fresh crusty bread.

Time to make: 5 minutes prep, 40 minutes cooking = around 45 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  2.  Fairly easy, quite a few ingredients involved and there will be a few dishes 😉

#nowplaying Baby Strange – VVV

Matcha bliss balls

Yup, officially obsessed with matcha.  When an ingredient makes food look this colour though, who WOULDN’T be obsessed?!  The flavour isn’t overpowering either, so there are loads of recipes you can add it to without making the finished product taste odd.

IMG_5965I’m currently on a quest for the perfect bliss ball, so thought try some using the green goodness of matcha.  Bliss balls are so easy to make, and you can pretty much put anything in there and they’ll taste awesome.  Use different nuts, add some dates, coat with chocolate – the variations are endless.

These were rolled separately in black sesame seeds and desiccated coconut, but feel free to leave plain. (OR dip in chocolate – everyone’s preferred option, surely!) An awesome, raw, sweet pick-me-up for your morning or afternoon snacking.

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Ingredients

3/4 cup macadamia nuts (you can use brazil nuts or almonds if you prefer)

1.5 cups of desiccated coconut

2.5 tsp matcha powder

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup rice malt syrup (or agave if you prefer)

2.5 tsp vanilla extract

Optional – black sesame seeds/desiccated coconut/dark chocolate for coating

Instructions

Grab your blender, chuck in all the ingredients, blend until all ingredients are combined and chopped sufficiently.

Transfer to a flat container and place in the freezer for around 15 minutes, or until just firm.  You don’t want to roll them into balls immediately as the mix will be too sloppy and go everywhere!

Remove from freezer and roll into small balls.

Roll in black sesame seeds or coconut and you’re all done.

Time to make: 5 minutes prep, 2 minutes in the blender, 15 minutes in the freezer, 5 minutes rolling in coating = around 30 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  1.5 – Easy peasy!

#nowplaying Glass Animals – Youth

Vegan chocolate honeycomb

Another flashback to my youth in the land down under – Violet Crumble anyone?  Crunchie perhaps?  Gone are the days spending pocket money on a king sized Crunchie chocolate bar for morning tea (or sometimes for breakfast, alongside a packet of Twisties… how am I not dead?!), so now I have to make something similar from scratch to curb the cravings.

Making honeycomb is SO much fun, but it contains SO much sugar.  This is definitely a treat recipe, not a staple!  Makes you realise how much c r a p is in commercially sold chocolate bars.  At least with this recipe you know exactly what’s going into it.  The fun part is chucking in the bicarb soda – you’ll feel like you’re in a science lab, for real.

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Only four ingredients in this you’ll be happy to know, but it does take a bit of faffing.  It’s not the most immediate of chocolate craving crushers, but it’s worth it for the deliciousness that is waiting at the end.  The only question to answer now is – will you keep it in the fridge or leave it out?  That age old argument…

Ingredients

3 Tbsp rice malt syrup

1 cup coconut sugar

2 tsp bicarb soda

1 x block dark chocolate, melted (approximately 150 grams)

Instructions

Line a small baking tin/dish with parchment paper so that the paper is hanging over the sides (my dish measures 18cm x 10cm)

Add the rice malt syrup and coconut sugar to a medium sized saucepan (not a small one!) and stir occasionally on low heat.  You want all of the sugar to have melted, so continue to stir for up to 10 minutes, or until all of the sugar has dissolved.

Once dissolved, bring to the boil and without stirring, let the mix gently boil for about a minute.

Remove saucepan from the hob and add in the bicarb soda, stirring to combine.

The mix will fluff up a bit – the fluffier the better!  Ensure all of the bicarb soda is mixed in, but try not to over-stir.

Transfer the mix to the lined baking tin and allow to cool.

Once the mix has cooled, cover with cling film and place in the fridge overnight.

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Dat honeycomb…

The next day, remove the honeycomb from the fridge, remove from the baking tray and chop into bite sized chunks.  No need to be regimented here, rustic is good!

Line a baking tray/dish with parchment paper as before.

Melt the chocolate using the double boiler method.

Place the chopped honeycomb into a large bowl and drizzle the melted chocolate over the top.  Stir to combine.

Transfer the chocolate honeycomb mix to the lined baking tray/dish and press down with a spatula to ensure there are few gaps in the mix.

Place in the fridge for 10 minutes to set.

Remove from the fridge and serve immediately.

Time to make: 5 minutes prep, 15 minutes on the hob/pan, 5 minutes combining = 25 minutes (plus overnight)

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  2 – be careful not to burn the sugar/syrup mix, plus waiting time is excruciating!

#nowplaying The Cribs – We Share The Same Skies

Get saucy – vegan lasagna sauce

 

Lasagna is just such a classic meal.  I used to cook it all the time before going vegan, but was never sure how to transfer it over using plant based ingredients.

I should never have worried – the amount of plant based milks and cheeses around means lasagna will never go off the menu.  Plus you only need to substitute for some soy mince or lentils, or just make it all from veggies.  Most lasagna pasta sheets should be vegan (I use Biona Organic), so there’s no excuse!

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This sauce can be used in any recipe you’d need a bechamel or white sauce.  Lasagna is just one – give it a go on pasta, potato gratin or as a base for a mustard sauce or macaroni cheese.  It shouldn’t be a prominent flavour in the food that you are adding it to, so don’t go crazy on the flavourings.

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Saucy.

Ingredients

4 Tbsp vegan butter

1/2 small white onion, minced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 cup cornstarch

2 cups plant based milk (I use hemp milk but you can use soy or a milk that’s not too sweet)

juice of half a lemon

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp dried thyme (or one Tbsp of chopped fresh thyme if you have it to hand)

rock salt & cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions

Add the butter, onion and garlic to a medium sized saucepan and heat on medium heat until the onions are translucent and the butter has melted (around 2-3 minutes).

Add the cornstarch and stir until combined (it will be clumpy!).

While stirring, add the remaining ingredients apart from the thyme.  Reduce heat and whisk until the sauce is at the required thickness.

Remove from the heat and stir in thyme.

Serve as lasagna sauce, over cauliflower/broccoli or in potato gratin.

 

Time to make: 5 minutes prep, 5 minutes on the hob = 10 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  2 – have to keep an eye on the sauce while it’s on the hob.

#nowplaying Yak – Use Somebody

 

Apricot danish

Pastry is life.  Every time I buy a roll of Jus Rol pastry it goes within the day.  Not raw mind you (I’m not that silly… although it does taste nice raw too), but made into anything and everything – savoury, sweet, big, small, as long as it’s tasty.

I used to buy danish pastries a LOT when I first started working.  It didn’t help that I worked in a cafe that had an abundant pre-made supply.  Then I worked as a junior baker and we baked danish pastries from scratch.  Apricot were always my favourite.

This is a pretty basic recipe, no faffing at all, and very delicious.  You could substitute apricot for blueberries, strawberries, cherries, peaches – you name it, it’ll probably work.  As long as you like the fruit, you’ll love it with pastry!

Cropped

 

Ingredients

2 x rectangle sheets of puff pastry (mine were approx 15cm x 10cm), room temperature

1 x apricot, peeled and halved (see here for how to easily peel an apricot)

1 x tablespoon apricot jam or marmalade

Optional – handful of slivered almonds

Method

Preheat your oven to 220C (425F).

Arrange a baking tray with parchment paper to cover and place pastry rectangles on paper to warm to room temperature.

Once your pastry is at room temperature, fold the corners into the middle of the pastry, then place your halved apricot in the middle (see below).

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Brush pastry with slightly warmed jam/marmalade (5 seconds in the microwave should be plenty).

Sprinkle slivered almonds on top.

Bake in the oven for around 25 minutes, but check so as not to burn.

Serve immediately, or can be kept at room temperature for around 2 days.

 

Time to make: 10 minutes prep, 20 minutes cooking = 30 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  1.5, not much to this recipe, which we like!

#nowplaying Blossoms – Charlemagne