Wildcard Wednesday (MOFO #15) – Goody Good Stuff goes Vegan!

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For the last Wildcard Wednesday of MOFO 2014 I want to share some extremely exciting news! Recently Goody Good Stuff sent me some goodies to try. I was very excited to see their facelift and try their new smooth sweets which are now vegan!

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When I first became vegetarian I adored the Goody Good Stuff range which was all gelatine free and vegetarian friendly. However, once I became vegan an issue appeared! When originally developing the sweets the team had to choose between coating them in beeswax or in palm oil. Palm oil would have made the whole range vegan but Goody Good Stuff were not happy with the environmental implications. They therefore opted for a beeswax coating which meant that all of their smooth gummy sweets were not vegan unlike their fizzy counterparts!

After a long time in development Goody Good Stuff have found a way to make their gummies vegan! Using coconut oil to coat the sweets, they have managed to replicate the classic texture of the gummies you remember eating as a child!

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I was lucky enough to receive gummy bears, cola bottles and a selection of their Christmas sweets to review so I have given myself a sugar high trying all these sweets just so I can tell you about them! The things I do for veganism….

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The cola bottles are one of my absolute favourites from the range. These were already vegan but I was extremely happy to have an excuse to try them again. Remember the cola bottles from your childhood? These are exactly the same but don’t include any hidden nasties and are completely cruelty free!

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The gummy bears are tougher than I remember the childhood favourite being. These are very similar to wine gums and have lemon, apple, pineapple, orange and apple flavours. Saying that, they are absolutely gorgeous and very morish!

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Are you all ready for Christmas? Goody Good Stuff are ready with their huge tubs of Xmas Trees and Baubles. The baubles are vegan versions of their popular strawberry and cream gummy sweets. Unlike the gummy bears these are super soft and squidgy! The cream baubles remind me of milk bottles and are absolutely my favourite. The stars and christmas trees are wine gum textured and absolutely delicious. I’m hoping to receive another one of these at Christmas!

The gummy bears and cola bottles are available in 150g bags and in a multi pack of 8 mixed bags. They can be bought in Tesco, Waitrose, ASDA and from the Goody Good Stuff website.

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Have you tried any of the new vegan range? Are you excited?

Tuesday Tips (MOFO #14) – Top Ten Essential Ingredients For Your Cupboard

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My theme for this year’s Vegan MOFO is making ordinary recipes vegan and gluten free. For today’s  Tuesday tips I’m going to give you a list of ingredients that are a must have in your cupboards to convert your recipes!

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Gluten Free Flour

A good gluten free flour blend is a must have. I always have a bag of my favourite Dove’s Farm plain flour in the cupboard for the obvious baking as well as making gravies, thickening sauces and making Vegg omelettes!

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Stock Cubes

I’ve already done a post on stock cubes which you can find here. A good supply of a few different flavours of stock cube is essential for making soups, stews and sauces. Always bear in mind that general stock cubes tend to have gluten in!

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Nutritional Yeast

I sprinkle these little cheesy flakes on anything from pasta to soup and you should too! It’s also useful in making cheese sauces. I use the one with added B12 as it is a vitamin that is more difficult to get on a vegan diet.

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Non-Dairy Margarine

These are available all over the place now and don’t cost more than normal margarines! My favourite one is called Vitalite and is available in most supermarkets. Your favourite spread can be used in any recipe that asks for butter. It also makes gorgeous toast!

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Unsweetened Plant Based Milk

Soya, almond, hazelnut, coconut or rice. The varieties of this are endless now! While normal almond milk tastes absolutely gorgeous in tea and hot chocolate, I recommend and unsweetened milk which can be used in any recipes that ask for milk. My favourites are unsweetened almond milk and Koko coconut milk.

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The Vegg

There are recipes all over the internet using this vegan egg yolk replacer. My favourite way to use it is to make omelettes or just a runny yolk to go over my breakfast. It’s useful to have a tub of this in the fridge to adapt any recipes which use egg yolks. Note though that this is just the yolk and not the white of an egg!

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Gram Flour/Besan

It’s a shame that I only discovered Gram Flour after I’d gone gluten free because it’s a gorgeous nutty alternative to normal flour. This can’t be used in place of plain flour because of the texture and flavour but it can be used to make a nice chickpea omelette!

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Tamari

I don’t know about you but I was devastated to discover that soy sauce contained gluten. Tamari is an excellent substitute though and is needed for stir fries and flavouring other dishes too!

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Worcester Sauce

Gluten free and vegan Worcester sauces can be found in a few places now including ASDA’s free from section! Now you can add it to your cheesy beans on toast just like you used to! I also use this for adding a bit of flavour to soups, sauces and rice.

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Vegan cheese

A must for any cheese based recipe! You can now get a large variety of cheeses including mozzarella substitutes, powdered parmesan, melty cheese and your normal blocks. My favourite is violife which tastes just like the real thing and actually melts!

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If you are going vegan and gluten free then filling your cupboards with the above ingredients will see you on your right way! What’s your must have ingredient?

Sunday Seven (Mofo #13) – Second Roundup!

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Welcome to this week’s Sunday Seven! Unfortunately I didn’t post last Sunday as I was in Blackpool for the Northern Vegan Festival so the following blogs are from the last fortnight. As always please let me know if I’ve missed anything good!

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My favourite dessert flavour has always been banoffee pie and Veg Hot Pot finally made my gluten free and vegan dream come true! This simple recipe uses digestive biscuits for the base, dates and almond milk for the caramel and coconut cream for the topping. I’ll be trying it soon!

Chickpea Flour Omelette

Kale Crusaders have been creating some cute cartoons based on vegan versions of classic foods. I loved this because chickpea omelettes are one of my favourites!

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I’m loving all of the vegan versions of classic comfort foods this year! Plant Base Living made this gorgeous looking green bean casserole using their own recipe for cream of mushroom soup. This will be making an appearance in my kitchen over winter.

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I love a good crumble and this one is full of delicious berries. The topping also happens to be oat free and gluten free! I’d kill for a bowl of this right now from It’s Got Vegan In It.

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Veganism has no limits anymore. Fancy an Egg McMuffin? Look no further than Alien on Toast who made their own version using violife cheese, vegan bacon and a chickpea pancake!

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Iron is always one of the first questions that meat eaters ask us isn’t it? Glue and Glitter put together this really useful guide so you can ensure your iron intake is perfect.

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Weird! Why Aren’t You Vegan? have been doing a series of posts about how meat eaters and vegans can get on better. We all know the sticky situations we can get into with non-vegan friends and this post made me giggle because it’s so true! She combats the meat eater line “I don’t like vegetables” in this post but the rest of the blog is well worth a look too!

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So we are entering our final week of Vegan Mofo. Let’s finish with a bang :)

Fruity Friday (MOFO #12) – Tea Poached Pears in Chocolate Sauce

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It’s the end of the third week already, can you believe it? Some chocolate covered pears will cheer you up though right?

Today’s recipe is from Veganomicon and didn’t take any adaptations to make it gluten free. It makes a change to not have to edit a recipe that tastes this good!

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I’ve never made or tasted a poached pear before but I loved the idea as soon as I saw it on the page. The recipe uses black tea, orange zest and vanilla extract to poach the pears in and then mixes some chocolate with some of the tea mixture to pour over the top. I used Earl Grey teabags for a bit of a lighter flavour and my pears turned out beautifully soft and had a comforting tea flavour. I loved the idea of using the leftover tea to make the chocolate sauce as it gave the sauce a bit of depth.

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I added some crushed almonds to the top of my pears to give a bit of crunch and ladled the chocolate sauce over the top. I managed to eat my way through 2 pears before I could stop!

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Have you ever poached a pear?

Throwback Thursday (MOFO #11) – Cracked Potatoes with Melty Cheeze

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Welcome to Throwback Thursday where I am looking at classic foods which we used to know and love in our pre-vegan days. Today’s recipe is from Delia’s How To Cheat At Cooking and includes two classic comfort foods, roast potatoes and melted cheese. Need I say more?

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Delia is well known for being an excellent cook so this book is very surprising. All the way through it gives you recipes for some gorgeous food that has “cheats”. In this recipe the cheat is Aunt Bessie’s Homestyle frozen roast potatoes. It also contains grated Gruyère cheese and parmesan so is definitely not vegan. Surprisingly it’s very easy to make it animal friendly though!

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Firstly with this recipe I slow roasted my own potatoes until they were crispy and golden brown. I then cracked them slightly with a fork before adding my favourite violife cheese and some shredded leeks instead of spring onions. Violife is one of the only vegan cheeses I’ve found which will actually melt under the grill. I ended up with some gorgeously crunchy potatoes with some naughty melted cheese on the top. This has to be one of my favourite side dishes of all time.

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What do you think about cheating with frozen roast potatoes or other convenience foods? Would you rather stick to wholefoods?

Wildcard Wednesday (MOFO #10) – The Northern Vegan Festival

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We’re already into the third week of MOFO! I’m sorry I’ve been absent over the weekend but over the weekend I travelled to Blackpool for the Northern Vegan Festival and then Kendal for work! I’m back now though and I want to share my adventures with you for this Wildcard Wednesday.

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I am originally from Blackpool so it was odd being back there for the Northern Vegan Festival. I made the most of it though and went to visit family the next day so it was a nice weekend in Blackpool for me and my boyfriend!

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The festival was held in the beautiful Winter Gardens’ Ballroom and all of the usual suspects were there! We don’t usually go to many workshops but we made the most of the day here and went to two really interesting talks. The first was a talk on nutrition which was done by Elizabeth King. It was really interesting to hear about vegan nutrition from a scientific point of view rather than from rumours and hearsay.
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The second talk was by the wonderful Melissa Morgan from Ms Cupcake. I came away with a signed copy of her book and lots of inspiration for how to make my gluten free and vegan bakes!

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Good news for all sweets fans came from the Goody Good Stuff stall where they were giving out samples of their brand new vegan gummy bears! I came home with one of the huge tubs of Sugar Plums and will be letting you know more about the new developments next week.

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Of course the most exciting part of the day was lunch! I followed my nose into the Cafe Room where there were all sorts of vegan delights. I was immediately drawn to the Gluten Free macaroni cheese with a crunchy nacho topping and had to stop myself from going back for seconds!

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All in all it was a fantastic day and I came home with lots of goodies!

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Were you at the festival? What was your favourite part?

 

 

Stress Free Saturday (MOFO #9) – Aubergine, Potato and Pepper Stew

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We’re halfway there guys! Today is Stress Free Saturday which is the day where I share a recipe with you which does not need adapting. Today’s stew is from the Meat Free Monday Cookbook and is my all time favourite aubergine recipe!

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This book is an excellent one for both veggies and vegans alike. It’s based on the idea of eating only vegetarian food on Mondays and is broken down into seasons. The aubergine, potato and pepper stew comes under Autumn which means it’s perfect for this time of year.

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I followed the recipe exactly but left out the feta to make it vegan. Once the veg was prepped and it was simmering away I could relax for half an hour until my bowl of comfort food was ready! The stew is made with peppers, courgettes, aubergine, potatoes, butter beans and olives and is beautiful served with rice.

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What is your favourite aubergine recipe? Maybe I need to expand my repertoire!