Anyone else go through loads of bananas?! I buy a bunch a week and wait patiently until they’re spotty enough to do stuff with – banana bread, frozen for smoothies and nice cream, and of course – pancakes.
You can make pancakes as “bad” or as “good” for you as you like. These happen to be pretty good for you, consisting of bananas, chia seeds and oats, so I give you full permission to have as many as you want 😉 Of course, the toppings will determine how healthy you want to go. You know me, can’t have a vegan treat without SOME kind of chocolate on it…
This is an easy peasy recipe, and great if you want to impress that special someone before they head off to do the walk of shame (oi oi!). Really high fibre content, and the protein ain’t that bad either (approximately 30 grams + in total). But who cares about that stuff? They’re bloody tasty, and that’s all that matters.
1 cup oats
1 cup plant milk (I use Good Hemp in this recipe as it’s nice and sweet)
1/3 cup wholemeal flour (or plain if that’s all you have)
2 tsp baking powder
1 medium banana (ripe and spotty please!)
2 TBsp chia seeds
Oil for cooking
Add all the ingredients (apart from the oil) to your food processor and blend until fully combined
Leave the mix to settle for about half an hour in the fridge (this isn’t necessary but it makes your pancakes less chewy)
Heat the oil in a non-stick fry pan on medium high heat
Add a couple of tablespoons of the batter to the heated pan and form into small pancakes
Once the batter starts to bubble and looks cooked through on the side facing you, it’s time to turn it over (or flip if you’re feeling confident!)
Cook until browned and keep warm in the oven on an oven safe dish while you’re waiting for the remaining pancakes to cook
Serve with strawberries, chocolate sauce (Sweet Freedom Choc Shot is THE ONE), blueberries, coconut chips, more banana, maple syrpup or whatever the hell you feel like… and enjoy!
Time to make: 5 minutes to mix the ingredients, 10 minutes to let the batter settle, 10 minutes to cook = 25 minutes
On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 1.5, so simple to make, basically just mix, sit and cook/flip
I think I’ve probably only ever had two or three eggs benedict meals ever before going vegan. There was always the worry that when you order eggs at a café or restaurant they’re going to be too snotty and gross (EW), and that had forever put me off ordering them. Plus being vegan, it’s now something that just isn’t on the wish list where brunch is concerned.
Have no fear – tofu is here.
It would be a pretty sad state of affairs if tofu wasn’t vegan, wouldn’t it just?! Useful for so many things, and depending on what herbs and spices you throw at it, it can be super tasty as well. Enter stage left – tofu benedict *audible gasps*
No snotty bits on these benny’s, and if you really wanna go crazy you can add some healthy stuff like asparagus or spinach into the mix. I used a round drinking glass to cut out the tofu shapes, and used the leftover firm tofu to make the hollandaise sauce. Using silken tofu for the sauce would be preferable, but if you’re out to save money and cut waste, then using the offcuts of the firm tofu still works well here. Just have a good blender and you’re golden.
This brunch isn’t a quick and easy one, there is plenty of prep to do. You can go without the bacon (SAVAGE), but if you want to whip some up for this, I would suggest using the always delicious Gaz Oakley of Avant Garde Vegan’s aubergine bacon recipe, found here. Alternatively you could try my rice paper bacon recipe, found here.
The tofu will also need a good hour or two marinating time, so add that into the equation. I prefer to marinate the night before so the tofu is ready to grill in the morning. You can also prep the hollandaise the night before and heat up in a small saucepan or carefully in a covered dish in the microwave.
Without further ado, behold, vegan tofu benedict *crowd cheers*
Oh boy do I have an awesome recipe to share with you guys today.
I’ve always seen shakshuka online and out and about, and thought the dish itself looked awesome, but the whole egg idea… ughhhh, no thanks. That’s where tofu is your best friend – reliable, versatile and tasty when cooked and spiced properly. Cauldron organic original tofu works best in this recipe, and there is no need to squeeze out the excess liquid either, just open the packet and straight into the blender. Easy.
Not a difficult dish to prepare, and all the ingredients can be found in any good vegan pantry!
This shakshuka has a bit of spice to it, as I LOVE heat, but feel free to dial down the spice if you’re not a fan. Serve with some fresh, crusty, buttered bread and your brunch life is complete.
1 tsp hot paprika (or sub sweet paprika if you’re not a heat fan!)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tins chopped tomatoes (400g each)
2 TBsp tomato paste
1/2 cup kalamata olives, halved
small handful of fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 200C.
Add the drained tofu, nutritional yeast and a few cracks of black pepper to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a medium sized skillet and when hot, add the garlic and peppers.
Sauté the onions and peppers on medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ensure they don’t burn.
Add the minced garlic to the pan and cook for about a minute.
Add the spices, sugar and thyme to the pan and stir to combine.
Add the olives, chopped tomatoes and tomato paste to the skillet and mix well.
Allow the mix to simmer for five minutes.
Take a large tablespoon of the tofu mix and carefully drop it into the skillet, one at a time. You should end up with about six evenly spaced dollops of the tofu mix in the skillet.
Carefully cover the skillet with a lid (or tin foil if you don’t have an oven-friendly lid) and place in the oven to cook for 10 minutes. If you don’t have an oven-friendly skillet it will be fine to leave it on the hob for 15 minutes or so on low heat, then brown the tofu under the grill afterwards.
After 10 minutes in the oven, remove the lid and place back in the oven for a further 10 minutes, or until the tofu is browned on top.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cracked pepper, more kalamata olives and some fresh parsley.
Time to cook: 10 minutes prep, 30 minutes cooking = 40 minutes
On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 2, relatively simple, just make sure you don’t dunk the tofu too far in the mix, and keep an eye on your tofu when it’s browning
After going back home (and to my adopted home) earlier this year, I thought it was about time to sort out some blog posts on where I ate awesome vegan food in Perth and Melbourne, Australia. There are so many more options now for vegans in both locations since I moved from Australia to London 8 years ago, and boy did I take advantage while I was there!
First stop is the city I grew up in – Perth, Western Australia. I tell a lie actually, I grew up in the country, about an hour north of Perth in a small town called Gingin, but I digress… Perth has never been the most forward-thinking of cities (can you tell why I’m now living in London?!), so I wasn’t expecting to find anything amazing as far as vegan options are concerned. Unlike Melbourne where the word “vegan” can be seen on any main restaurant strip, Perth isn’t teeming with obvious vegan options. Vegan meals are there if you do your research however, and I found a few gems while I was there briefly.
Holy moly. So much to choose from on the menu and such a great looking restaurant. There are other vegan options around Freo, so if you’re spending the day there (and you should – Freo is lovely), you won’t be short of places to eat. Raw Kitchen, however, is the star of the area. I wanted to eat everything on the menu, but had to settle for the nachos – salsa, jalapenos, walnut refried beans, guacamole and cashew sour ‘cream’ over raw nachos. LOOK AT THIS.
Didn’t have enough room for dessert, but I did have an elixir shot and a Longevity kombucha on the side. The entire menu is vegan, and mostly raw, so knock yourself out! Seeing as the weather is usually beautiful at any time of the year in Perth, eating raw is actually quite easy to do and really refreshing.
If you’re an insta-whore, this place should be top of your to-do list whilst in Perth! Don’t just take my word for it – take a scroll through their Instagram and you’ll see how gorgeous the food is. Fresh and exotic fruits, edible flowers, pastel colours and cute little tables make taking Insta-pics here a delight. The chefs clearly want to impress with their plating – I felt almost bad cutting into my food! Almost… The vegan banana bread with raspberry sauce was my brunch of choice, as they make their banana bread fresh every morning. No words needed, just this picture.
Seriously guys, GO HERE! Perfect for brunch and plenty of vegan options on the meat-free menu. Head there on a sunny day, as the outside seating area is much bigger than inside, and Northbridge is always buzzing with all sorts of interesting people wandering around.
Because who doesn’t like hot dogs?! Although Wassup Dog serve meat-dogs, they do a mean vegan option. All of their ingredients are made from scratch (the bread, the condiments, the sausages etc.) and sourced locally, so you know you’re going to scoff the good stuff here. They do breakfast (with a good looking vegan option) and also home delivery, if you CBA dragging yourself out of bed. Here’s the “Vegan Dog” that I had, with a side of hand cut chips (natch).
How sexy is that?! Their vegan sausage is made from pumpkin, sweet potato and coriander, plonked in a freshly baked bun and topped with sautéed peppers and onions, a smashed avocado and homemade vinaigrette. Difficult to finish it off as the serving was so huge, but that, my dear friends, is not a complaint.
I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you. The one thing that London lacks is a decent, easy to access (e.g. no massive queues), super cheap, veggie/vegan dirty take away chain. THAT is why I love LOTF. All the dirty burgers, hot dogs and fries you want, all veggie or vegan. You can basically veganise anything on the menu here, and the choice is huge. Firm favourite for me is French Canadian fries, hold the cheese, as can be seen here (excuse the legs!).
So many sauce options however – get yourself a big serving of fries and slather on that sauce. All of the “classic” sauces are vegan, and all of the burgers can be made vegan if you ask. They have exploded in the last few years and have shops all over the country, including plenty in Melbourne.
There were a few places on my list that I didn’t get around to eating at (wahh!), but add these to your list if you have more time than I did.
Swan Valley Café – in the heart of the wine district (you know what to do guys…) is this vegetarian café with a huge breakfast, lunch and dessert menu. The options are mostly vegan (tempeh burger!!) and they also do a good amount of raw and gluten free options. There are garlic and onion free food options as well, which is great for Krishna’s.
Acai Bros – Another one in Fremantle while you’re in that area. These guys do raw smoothies, acai bowls, shooters and juices. If you eat there often enough I’ve heard that you’ll end up looking like the founding “Brothers”, which isn’t a bad thing (*ahem* LADIES *ahem*).
Roark & Co – Freo again (I see a pattern here…). 100% plant based café open for breakfast and lunch 7 days a week. Breakfast wraps, burgers, vegan tuna rolls and plenty of salads in the summer. I should have stayed in Fremantle!
That was about the extent of my food choices in Perth while I was there earlier in the year. Wish I ate out more, but at least now I know where to go when I venture back there, which is not a bad thing. Next blog is going to be what I ate in Melbourne, which might have to be over two blogs, because I at a LOT of food there!
Let me know in the comments of any other places that look good in Perth so that I can go check them out when I go back there… one day 😉
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).
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.
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)
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!
Hands up who loves hash browns! *Raises both arms*
I’m a sucker for anything potato based, so last weekend it was time to attempt some home made hash browns. I think I did ok.
This recipe was adapted from Minimalist Baker’s Crispy Hash Brown Haystacks (I’m always on their site – if you don’t already know of them then get involved!), which looked amazing so I thought I’d give it a go.
Next time I won’t use purple spuds (or I’ll peel them) as the mix ended up having a slightly grey tinge to it. Not the most appealing colour when working with food. They were delicious though, and I almost managed to save some for breakfast the next day… almost.
1 – 2 medium grated potatoes (I used Albert Bartlett) – ensure you squeeze as much liquid out of the potatoes you can before using.
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup frozen corn
1 Tbsp melted vegan butter
1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
Sea salt & cracked pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 190C (375F).
Grease a 6 muffin tray with oil/butter.
Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir thoroughly to combine.
Divide the mix evenly between the six muffin tins and press down gently. Don’t worry if there are bits of spud sticking up – they’ll be crispy and yum after cooking!
Place muffin tray in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, increase the temperature to 220C (425F) and bake for a further 10 minutes or more, until sufficiently browned.
Remove from the oven and let them rest for five minutes. Run a knife around the edges to ensure the hash browns will slide easily out of the muffin tin.
Serve immediately or freeze for use at some other time.
Makes six hash browns
Time to make: 5 minutes grating the spuds, 5 minutes mixing/spooning into muffin tray, 35 minutes in the oven = 45 minutes
On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 2 – grating the spuds takes some time and ensuring the hash browns are cooked evenly takes patience!
Summer is pretty much here (in the Northern Hemisphere in any case) so it’s time to use spotty bananas for smoothie bowls rather than banana bread.
You know how easy it is to make smoothie bowls? SUPER easy.
The best thing about smoothie bowls is you can put in it whatever you want. See a recipe you want to try but it has YUCKY spinach in it? Don’t put it in. See a recipe you want to try but you want to put raspberries in instead of blueberries? DO IT.
The base of any good smoothie bowl is frozen bananas. When your ‘nanas get those brown spots on their skin – peel them, chop into bite sized pieces and freeze in a container.
Don’t feel limited to what you can and can’t put in a smoothie bowl, because the possibilities really are endless.
Pack in as many fruit and veggies as you can, and add whatever toppings you like.
3 x frozen bananas, thawed for 20 minutes if you have time
1 x cup frozen blueberries (or fresh – I find frozen gives more of a purple colour to the smoothie)
1 x teaspoon ground flaxseed (a great source of Omega 3 for vegans)
1/2 cup leafy green veggies (try spinach, kale, lettuce or even avocado – mix it up)
1/2 cup hemp/soy/almond/hazelnut milk
Add all of the ingredients to a blender/food processor and process until smooth.
Scrape down the sides as and when needed.
Add more milk if needed – don’t add too much as you don’t want it to go sloppy. Be patient with the blending process as it might take a few pulses/stop starts to get it mixed thoroughly, and for the bananas to go creamy.
Transfer to a small bowl and add your favourite toppings.
I’ve used a variety of the below toppings before, but use whatever you like:
Fruit – raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, mango, kiwifruit, oranges (all can be fresh or frozen), dried goji berries, cranberries or coconut (dessicated or fresh)
Seeds – sunflower, chia, hemp, pumpkin, sesame, poppy, buckwheat (seeds are also a great source of Omega 3, plus fiber and protein)
Other fun stuff – granola, cacao nibs, spirulina or matcha (SO green) or chocolate/chocolate sauce
Makes 1 smoothie bowl
Time to make: 5 minutes in the blender + 5 minutes assembly = 10 minutes
On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 1, just blend and go!