Monday, 21 September 2015

Slow cook Spinach tofu lasagna!

Slow cook Tofu and spinach Lasagna

·         Cauldron Tofu, crumbled (pictured below)
·         ½ cup nutritional yeast
·         1 tbsp lemon juice
·         1 tbsp olive oil
·         1 tbsp garlic powder
·         ¼ tsp salt and pepper

·         Spinach (Fresh, chopped or ½ a can of tinned spinach or frozen-chopped spinach)
·         Passata Tomato Sauce
·         1 tbsp dried Italian herbs 
·         Dried pasta sheets (broken into long pieces) Gluten free can also be used.
·         20g Cheezly (or other vegan cheese, grated)

This is the best tofu to make a ricotta, available at most supermarkets. 
Nutritional yeast, available at health food shops. Nutty cheesy flavour. 
·         Slow cookers do not lose water or reduce, so don’t add too much water to this recipe. The pasta will absorb some of the liquid from the tofu and tomato sauce.
·         Season the tofu to taste, but I find that because slow cookers don’t reduce and intensify flavour, you may need to over season the food to start. Otherwise add more salt as you plate the lasagne. 
·         If you don’t have a slow cooker you can make this in the oven, I suggest switching to Cannelloni tubes and using a blunt knife to fill the tubes, arranging in an oven dish and layering on tomato sauce, baking with foil to keep moisture in the dish.  

First in a large bowl mix together the ingredients to make the tofu Ricotta.

Then in the slow cooker, layer, first the tomato sauce, then broken up pieces of lasagna sheets, aim that not too much is overlapping.  
Then add a thick layer of the Tofu Ricotta, you should be aiming for only 3 layers of pasta, two layers of tofu. 
On top of that Tofu, layer pasta, more tofu, and then last layer should be pasta and then top that with the tomato sauce. Ensure the sauce covers all the pasta evenly; any pasta not covered will dry out and become overly crunchy. 

In the last 10 minutes of the cook, grate the cheese on top, you can allow some of the steam to escape while you do this. If making this in the oven i suggest adding a lot more liquid to the top, you could even make a cheese style sauce rather than just grating cheese. Equally if you use a lot of juicy tomato you can just grate vegan cheese on top. 

The slow cooker should cook this in between 1.5-3 hours depending on the setting (low or high) and the power of your slow cooker. Once the pasta is soft the dish is cooked. 

 I've also made this in the oven as both a lasagna and cannelloni. 

Sorry for the terrible photos! I make this recipe so often, I forget to photograph it. 

Looking for more tofu inspiration?
Try my marinated recipe:

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Pulled BBQ Jack fruit

Vegan BBQ Jack Fruit

I finally did it, i made pulled BBQ buns and they were soooo good! 
I can't get over how much this looks like pulled pork, I've never eaten pulled meat, but I'm in love with Pulled Jackfruit. 
A friend referred me to this recipe: 
I made a few alterations, due to not having a few ingredients and made it more spicy. 
After I made these I realised that the tinned Jack fruit is so mild you can really add any sauce to give it characteristic. 
So bbq was a success, I'd like to try a more smokey sauce, Mexican, Thai, Chinese and Indian. 
I tell you honestly, I never made this because it looked like a lot of effort, but in fact it was as easy as most of my weeknight meals. Buy a tin, cook with onion and garlic add stock and twice cook in the oven. Easy! 
The tin game me about enough for 4-5 pork buns I think. 
I would be interested in mixing in some protein, either lentils or beans depending on the sauce. 

Hope this inspires you as it did me! 

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Dim T Winchester

My friend recommended I try Dim T in Winchester, I've seen the resturant a few times and eaten on the same street but never inquired into this little gem. The menu is Asian Fusion foods, with a great focus on starters, who doesn't love appetisers?
There allergy information is good, they tell you everything with milk or eggs in. There isn't a clear Vegan or not Vegan section, but the staff are very attentive.
First we ordered 3 starters; Spring Rolls, Steamed Dumplings and my personal favorite steamed and fried Gyoza's (dumplings not vegan, not pictured).
Delicious Gyoza's, I could have eaten 3 plates!
We were lucky to get some vouchers to celebrate Buddha's birthday on Tuesday, after signing up to the mailing list, which prompted our meal, and also enabled us to try a few more dishes than we might usually.
Some of the crispiest Spring Rolls, I've ever had!

In total we order the 3 mentioned starters, 2 mains which were Sweet Coconut Noodles (below), Japanese Fried Rice with Tofu and a side order of Broccoli Stir Fry with Garlic.
We had peppermint tea to share, which was served in a cute btu heavy tea pot with small cups.
My partner finihsed the meal with banana friters with ice cream and caramel sauce.
For my main, I had Sweet Coconut Noodles, with Tofu. Also pictured Stir Fried Broccoli.
I have to admit, the Cococnut Noodles were a bit sweet for me, I wanted a bit more of a spicy kick, and I had to eat my Broccoli and Noodles seperately, as the flavours really didn't work, the Noodles made the Broccoli taste too earthy. I will definetly order a more savory dish next time, but this isn't a critism on the resturant as they had very clearly advertised the noodles!  
I would definetly like to try some more of their dishes, the udon terkyaki is tempting me back. The menu is very flexible in that you can change your dish to have any type of noodle or go carb free and just have all veg; which sounds like a great idea for a vitamin packed lunch!
My over all experience of the resturant was really good, the food was delicious and the atmosphere was very relaxed, and the staff were very attentive.
Sign up to the mailing list and try either the Winchester restaurant or one of the London locations.  

Thursday, 26 December 2013


Christmas time! I've been wearing my fluffy red hat and white beard for about two weeks now, which can only mean its Christmas!
I was very happy to receive this advent calendar from one of my friends at roller derby, it was filled with sweet rice milk chocolate squares.
There has been a lot of festive cheer this year, and I've reserved Christmas for some cooking and baking!
First thing I made on Christmas morning was Vegan Eggnog with rum.
My first ever vegan eggnog was over Christmas in 2011 which we spent in China, I don't remember exactly how it tasted, but I love how adjustable the drink can be, as long as its thick and creamy with Christmas spice!
I got this simple recipe from my friend and adjusted it, resulting in this;
1 block of firm tofu
1 cup non-dairy milk
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp vanilla essence
1-2 teaspoons nutmeg and cinnamon
1/2 cup of rum or brandy
Wizz in a blender and top with a grating of nutmeg.

I couldn't find any vegan mince pies this year, so baked some mince pies using store bought pastry and mince filling, even with those cheats they tasted so much better than shop bought! I made a few raspberry jam ones for my papa who doesn't like mince meat.
For the main affair, Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings and at least 8 types of vegetables!
 Fluffy roast potatoes, roast parsnips, roasted sprouts, creamy cheesey leaks, cauliflower, carrots, swede, petit pois, with stuffing and Cheatin' Gammon.
Creamy leaks is a tradition my mum insists on, but everyone loves, the vegetable is sliced and poached in milk until soft then add a little grated Cheezly and nutritional yeast and season.
Here is the Gammon, I think I prefered the "Turkey and sausages in bacon" from last year.

For a few weeks I've been mulling over making a Gingerbread house, watching Mary Berry has only encouraged this. 
I had a lot of success with Gingerbread men last year using Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, and this year made wheat free trees, bells and stars. I followed the recipe again, but wasn't sure how much dough I would need to make the house. With a lot of grease proof paper, a ruler and some cutters I made templates for the house.
They warp a little in the baking, but with a bowl butter cream icing, any thing can be fixed. I had to stick the 4 sides together, then pop the whole thing in  the fridge before attempting the roof.
Decorating is the best bit, I used glace cherries, round and chunky choc chips, Peach Googy Good Stuff jelly sweets and a candy cane by the door!
I later realised I had some star shaped candies I could have used too.
Also spread a bit of Christmas cheer by gifting these delicious treats to my friend Claire, she loves veggie marshmallows, but they are either hard to get hold of or expensive. These turned up in our local health food shop, and would be perfect for hot chocolate or rocky road! 

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Cat Bar Vegano - Barcelona

I spent a lovely week in Barcelona this September, and was so excited to see how many vegan places there were to eat at.
Below are some photos from our night at Cat Bar, located quite centrally near Jaume 1 tube stop.
The best part is that the whole place is decorated with cat themed stuff, including a Ducati bike that lost a few letters, in the main entrance.

The opening times are a little random, so I messaged them on facebook before I went. 
I wasn't sure my non-vegan friends would want to eat there, but they took a chance, and were very happy!
We each choose a different burger, as there are lots on the menu. aside from their burger menu they also had daily special, including a wheat free option of the day. The price was reasonable too.
They also serve Punk IPA Brew Dogs beers, which the ladies of the group partook in.

with tofu, rocket and sliced beetroot

with pesto fries and avocado sauce

Double burger with creamy mayo dip

Spicy burger with chorizo sauce
I highly recommend visiting this place for an evening out!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Vegan Wedding food

At our friends wedding mentioned below the bride and groom are both pretty health conscious and were really concerned about making sure everyone was catered to, they made sure the venue would have vegan and wheat free meals available to all guests. Thought this doesn’t sound like a difficult thing, this venue really excelled!
The wedding was held at a beautiful barn conversion and the theme was Fuchsia pink. My partner and I were seated with a Buddhist couple who we had met before, so in all we were a vegetarian table, and I was the only one who drank alcohol (two bottles per table is a tall order for one person!)
The table was decorated with little butterflies with the name and menu choices on, and most importantly for the girls a table favour in the form of butterfly cookie cutter to take home (best idea ever!)
The first course was soup, whilst the other veggies on the table had an orange soup, I had a beautiful rich Beetroot soup, and oh my, it was amazing! I’m really addicted to beetroot things (juices, burgers, raw in salad), and this soup had a really good tomato taste too and was the perfect thickness and rather filling.
The main course was risotto, I am totally addicted to risotto too, my Mr doesn’t like it, and so I generally only make it when I’m having a meal for one. This was a deliciously filling meal; it is very easy to make a veggie risotto and keep it vegan simply by not using butter and not adding any cream or cheese until the very end (I noticed the regular risotto had some cheese on top). I managed to finish the plate, mostly because it was so tasty, I was totally full.
The dessert was a huge fruit salad in fruit juice, my neighbour at the table as pretty jealous; being vegan is the best way to get tasty healthy fruit. Though I do like chocolate cake at times!

Wedding cupcakes and gifts

I recently had the honour of being asked to make some speciality cupcakes for a friend’s wedding; I made Gluten Free Vegan cupcakes for the guests with allergies. Specifically I knew one of the Bride’s friend’s children was a celiac, and hate the idea of any child missing out on cake at a wedding when everyone else can have some. I decided to stick to simple flavours to please the crowd, so made lemon cupcakes and chocolate cupcakes, I think these cover a range of taste (I only know of one person in my life who doesn’t like chocolate).
As an unexpected present on the day I was given this gorgeous Cupcake themed cookbook stand, this is the absolute best gift I could ever think of! I actually don’t own a recipe book stand and struggle between trying to balance the pages open and not get cake mix splashed all over the book. This also folds down nicely and fits in a draw.  
Tonight I am using it whilst making Ms Cupacke's Blueberry and almond muffins, ( again theses have been made gluten free,) for my Mr to take with him to London tomorrow to share with anyone he meets at the Buddhist centre.