Tuesday Tips! (MOFO) – Is Your Stock Suitable?

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Welcome to the second day of vegan MOFO!

My theme this year is making recipes from your non-vegan gluten eating days suitable for your current diet. On Tuesdays I will be giving you tips on how best to make recipes from your old cookbooks both vegan and gluten free.

Often a soup recipe will look perfectly innocent but there is sometimes a hidden danger. Stock cubes can contain hidden gluten ingredients which make that lovely vegan soup very dangerous indeed for coeliacs or gluten sufferers. I always play it safe and only choose a stock cube that is labelled gluten free. My favourites are made by Kallo.

 Here are my favourite stocks:

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Kallo Garlic & Herb

This is my all time favourite stock. The sweet garlic, parsley, rosemary and thyme make a gorgeous (but strong) flavour in your soups and stews.

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Kallo Tomato and Herb Stock

This one is perfect for pasta sauces and tomato based stews. It adds a little bit of richness and is delicious!

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Kallo Mushroom Stock

A mushroom risotto is not right without one of these earthy little cubes! I also use them for mushroom pasta sauces and to add a more savoury flavour to stews and gravies.

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Kallo Vegetable Stock

These are your standard vegetable stock cubes that are also available in low salt and yeast free varieties. They add a beautiful flavour to rice, pasta or wherever else you would usually use vegetable stock.

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With Kallo’s range of different stocks you can make any stock based recipes gluten free! Which are your favourites?

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Make Ahead Monday (MOFO) – English Onion Soup

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My theme for this year’s Vegan MOFO is using recipes from old cookbooks that you owned before your vegan days. Therefore it’s only fitting for me to start with my first favourite book!

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Can we just take a second to appreciate how well loved this book looks? My favourite Jamie Oliver book has seen plenty of splashes! I remember making an incredibly cheesy pasta dish from this book with purple sprouting broccoli. It was one of the first meals I cooked for a group of people and I was very proud. I’d find it very difficult to part with this book which is good because there is no need! The book includes some vegan/gluten free recipes and a number which can be adapted.

For my first Make-Ahead Monday post I’ve adapted a beautiful soup which focusses on English onions and herbs and is topped with some devilish cheesy bread. It makes around 8 bowls and can be happily frozen and defrosted. This is my adaptation of English Onion Soup with Sage and Cheddar.

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At first glance this recipe is a minefield. It contains knobs of butter, gluten filled bread, gooey cheese and anchovy filled worcestershire sauce.

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There are a number of butter substitutes in the supermarkets now and Pure is one of my favourites. I started the soup of with a spoonful of their olive margarine and the onions were sizzling away in no time.

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The recipe calls for red onions, white onions, shallots and leeks. These are cooked for almost an hour so that they slowly soften and almost caramelise. I replaced the sage for tarragon as it gives a gorgeous earthy flavour which matches so well with the sweet onions.

The recipe suggests “2 litres of good quality beef, chicken or vegetable stock”. It’s easy enough to find a vegan vegetable stock cube but if you are coeliac like me then it also needs to be gluten free. My favourite brand for this is Kallo who I’ll be discussing this in tomorrow’s Tuesday Tips so remember to come back!

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Jamie then cooks his soup for 15 minutes while he prepares his cheese on toast. There are a multitude of cheese substitutes out there which would do this dish justice but I decided to go in a different direction and make some garlic bread to top my soup with. Here you can see I have used Dietary Specials (DS) white ciabattas which are my favourite go-to bread replacer. They also work really well here as they don’t fall apart in the soup.

I topped the ciabattas with a thick layer of Pure Olive spread and sprinkled powdered garlic and mixed herbs over them before putting them under the grill until browned. I then added them to the top of my bowl of soup and put them back under to finish. Don’t forget to add a liberal sprinkling of vegan worcestershire sauce for a nice spicy edge! I use Biona but there are a few different brands. I also added a sprinkling of nutritional yeast on the top for some added cheesiness.

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And here is my finished product! I put the leftovers into freezer bags and they lasted a couple of weeks. They would have lasted longer but I couldn’t resist!

For the full original recipe please look in the Jamie at Home book.

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Have you had any luck in veganising any recipes from Jamie Oliver’s books?

Vegan MOFO plans!

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Welcome everyone to Vegan MOFO 2014!

I don’t know about you but I’ve spent the day adding all of the participating blogs to my blogreader. There are some exciting themes out there including bento boxes, Harry Potter and Disney!

As I have a huge collection of cookbooks it was obvious to me that my theme was going to somehow involve getting through these. However I did want to do something a little different to what you usually find on here. I have decided to get out some of my pre-vegan pre-gluten free books to see what treasures I can find inside. I have slowly put aside more and more of my favourite books as I adapted my diet but there are recipes to be found in the old books which can be easily converted to fit my current diet!

Therefore my theme is focussing on books that many people happen to have in their homes before they transition into veganism. I’m going to show you how I adapt recipes to be gluten free and vegan as well as give you a few ideas of which types of books to look out for.

I’m aiming to post every day this year! My daily themes will be:

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It can be hard to cook from scratch for every meal but with a bit of extra planning you can have tasty food ready in your fridge for when you get home on these darkening nights! On Monday’s I will be sharing recipes I’ve adapted which are perfect for making life a little easier.

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tuesdaytips

Which vegan cheeses are the best? What should you use instead of bread? Is there a way to make gluten free pasta better than a soggy mess? On Tuesdays I will be listing tips to help you veganise your own recipes.

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wildcardwednesday

Some things just can’t be categorised! Check here on a Wednesday to see anything from product reviews to the latest vegan news!

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throwbackthursday

Macaroni cheese just isn’t possible anymore. Or is it? Let’s introduce some of your old favourites back into your diet!

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fruityfriday

Baked fruit desserts are always laden full of milk, eggs and gluten aren’t they? Not anymore!

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stressfreesaturday

If you look closely enough there are recipes in non-vegan books that just happen to fit into our diet! This means some stress-free cooking!

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sundayseven

The best thing about Vegan MOFO is finding new and exciting blogs. Join me on a Sunday for my favourite seven blog posts from the week!

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I hope you can join me for what promises to be an exciting and hectic month! As last year, I’d like to meet any other UK bloggers so please get in touch!

Vegan MOFO is almost here!

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It’s come along fast hasn’t it? Vegan bloggers all over the world are currently raiding their fridges and hammering their keyboards in preparation! This will be my second year taking part and I’m excited to reveal my theme to you guys!

When I became vegan I kept all of my old cookbooks even though I didn’t think I’d ever be able to use them again. I have a huge collection of books though and I hate to see an unloved one! I have been working my way through popular cookbooks like Jamie Oliver and Delia and veganising some of my favourite recipes to share. I’ve also made some gluten free versions of recipes from books like Veganomicon and Linda McCartney.

So dig out those old books and use my tips to make your old recipes good again!

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New Vegan Children’s Book – The Girl Who Could See Stories

I’ve got something a bit different for you today. Gill Torres is the author of a new children’s book which aims to teach children exactly where their food comes from. She is currently working on raising the funds to get this imaginative piece of work published. I’m sure you’ll agree this is an exciting step towards teaching children about plant based living! I have invited Gill to do a guest post today on her new project. Let’s give her a big Vegan Beckles welcome!

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Massive thanks to Becky for inviting me to share my new project with her readers. My name’s Gill and I am the author of The Girl Who Could See Stories, a picture book aiming to inspire young children to eat a healthy plant-based diet, free from animal products.

It’s a picture book about Sofiel – a little girl with a special gift. Sofiel can see the story of every person, animal and object she looks at. If she looks at an old suitcase, she can see every item it ever carried. If someone cycles past her on a bike she can see every journey they ever took and if she met you, your life story would open up to her like the pages of a book. One day she looked down at the food she was eating and she saw its past. From that moment on, she chose to only feed her tummy with happy stories.

The story came to me about a year ago. It is quite short – suitable from age 4 upwards – and is a really simple way to explain compassionate, healthy lifestyle choices to young children. When I started researching I realised that there didn’t seem to be another story like it out there, so I teamed up with illustrator Ilan Sheady and set about creating a big, beautiful picture book!3727056_orig

The book can now be pre-ordered online via Kickstarter and all pre-orders will help us to pay for the printing of the first edition. Crowd-funding campaigns on Kickstarter are time limited, so we only have until 16th September to raise enough money, by selling books and some other related ‘rewards’ that we have dreamed up (if we don’t reach the target then nobody who has backed the campaign will be charged). If you like the sound of the book, please take a minute to visit our kickstarter campaign and place your order!

Enjoy Life – Soft Baked Gingerbread Spice Cookies

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I always thought that our local Tesco had quite a good Free From section until I saw the Lifestyle Event aisles full of gorgeous vegan and gluten free foods! I visited a larger Tesco store this week but was disappointed to find that they weren’t running the Lifestyle Event either. Upon closer inspection though I managed to find some amazing cookies.

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Enjoy Life are an American company which produce products free from “The 8 Common Allergens”. On the back of the packet they list these as wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish and shellfish. Luckily for me this means they are completely vegan as well as gluten and soy free! I always find it extremely frustrating when products in the free from sections of most major supermarkets are free from one allergen but packed full of another. As a vegan my main problem has to be the extra eggs and dairy that gluten free manufacturers add to everything. The approach that Enjoy Life have towards free from foods is both refreshing and exciting. I hope that the British companies can follow suit as it makes sense for a “free from” product to be free from multiple allergens rather than just certain ones!

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As a huge gingerbread fan I was drawn to the Gingerbread Spice cookies first and they did not disappoint. The ingredients list is packed full of things I would use in my own kitchen (a welcome change from that of most ready made biscuits) so I was hoping for a slightly home-made feel to these.

These are definitely on the more cakey side of the cookie spectrum! Their texture is very soft and not the sort of thing we’re used to in the UK with our crunchy choc chip cookies. I like this about them though as they somehow taste slightly more decadent than their crunchy counterparts. They also have a sprinkling of sugar on the bottom which gives a nice crunch.

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The flavour is amazing and is so hard to describe in words! The combination of ground and crystallised ginger gives a very strong and spicy flavour. They have a homey feel to them and remind me of winter months and Christmas. I’ve never tasted such a strong gingerbread biscuit before.

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It’s a shame that these cookies are not more readily available over here in the UK. They are currently on sale in selected Tesco stores for £3 a box. Pricey but worth it!

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Don’t forget about my giveaway for a years subscription to Vegan Life Magazine! Click here to enter!

Win A Year’s Subscription to Vegan Life Magazine!

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The whole of the vegan community is currently buzzing in anticipation for the new Vegan magazine which will be hitting UK shelves in just a few days! Vegan Life magazine will be packed full of vegan recipes, nutritional information, in depth articles, interviews with vegan celebrities and much more. It aims to “bring vegan into vogue” and will be available in WHSmiths, Sainsbury’s or Tesco store as well as wholefoods shops. It will also be available in a digital format.

I’m giving you the chance today to enter to win a year’s subscription to the magazine starting from the first issue which is released in September. To enter this competition please click on the link below and don’t forget to leave a comment on this post and tell me which part of the magazine you’re most looking forward to!

Enter Here!

 

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Vegan Life Magazine – A New Vegan Magazine in the UK!