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!

Throwback Thursday (MOFO #8) – “Fronch” Toast

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We’re almost halfway through Vegan MOFO and it’s going too fast! Today I’m carrying on with my theme of making recipes from my pre-vegan days suitable for my gluten free and vegan diet.

Today is Throwback Thursday and I want to talk to you about french toast (aka eggy bread!). Before I was vegan my birthday breakfast was always eggy bread with a dollop of ketchup to dunk it in. For those of you not familiar with it, eggy bread is slightly stale bread which is soaked in an eggy mixture and then fried. It’s deliciously naughty!

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Today’s recipe comes from Vegan With A Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. This was one of my very first books when I turned vegan but since I went gluten free and started avoiding soya I’ve not used it much at all. The Fronch Toast recipe is very easy to make gluten and soy free though and makes an absolutely perfect Sunday breakfast.

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Isa recommends a baguette shaped loaf for this recipe but I used a DS Ciabatta which I cut in half. It soaked up the mixture delightfully because of the air pockets inside. Instead of soy cream I used the new Alpro rice cream which was surprisingly thick and creamy! I also replaced the soy milk with some unsweetened almond milk.

The eggs in this recipe are replaced by cornflour and chickpea flour which is a combination I would never have thought of. They worked perfectly though and created a gorgeous crispy coating. This is definitely going to be a regular in my kitchen!

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Which breakfast treats do you miss from your childhood?

Wildcard Wednesday (MOFO #8) – Mushroom, Asparagus and Cheese Omelette

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Welcome to the second week of Vegan MOFO! I’ve already fallen behind a bit as I didn’t post yesterday or the day before. Sorry for my absence but I was exhausted after work!

As it’s Wildcard Wednesday I have a quick recipe for you which doesn’t fall under my “Veganising Recipes from Cookbooks” theme. This omelette is adapted from a recipe from A Vegan Obsession for a Vegg frittata. I make these frittatas all the time when I’m too lazy to cook properly and I’ve made lots of different varieties! Yesterday I decided to add some cheese into my frittata to make it into a cheesy omelette. Here’s my adaptation!

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Ingredients

5 tsp Vegg powder

1 cup of gluten free flour

1 cup of water

Handful of mushrooms

A few asparagus stalks

 2 slices of Violife Hot Pepper cheese

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Method

1) Thinly slice your mushrooms and cut your asparagus into pieces

2) Fry the mushrooms in a small amount of olive oil

3) Blend the vegg with the water using a handheld blender

4) Add the flour and blend

5) Add the asparagus to the frying pan and pour over the vegg mixture

6) Cook for around 4 minutes or until the sides of the omelette can be lifted with a spatula and bubbles are forming on top

7) Shred the cheese and sprinkle on the top before placing under the grill

8) Cook until browned on top and cooked all the way through

9) Enjoy with a splash of worcester sauce and some ketchup!

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How do you enjoy your Vegg?

Sunday Seven (MOFO #7) – My favourite blogs this week!

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We made it! We’re at the end of the first week of Vegan MOFO 2014. What a week it’s been! Today I’m sharing my favourite posts of the last 7 days.

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Fork and Beans started off the week with these fantastic halloween treats! I think everyone in the blogosphere has fallen in love with them and they are gluten free and vegan too!

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Miss Kitchen Witch is doing a Harry Potter themed MOFO and is producing some gorgeous looking recipes. Here are her pumpkin stuffed jacket potatoes which I can just imagine tucking into in the great hall. I also loved how she used the books to inspire her recipes, rightfully saying that jacket potatoes are one of the only foods mentioned at the Halloween feast in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

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On Friday Stairway to Vegan shared a recipe for Broccoli Chedah Soup which was served in gluten free bread bowls! Thanks for giving us gluten free folk hope for comforting soup and bread this winter!

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As soon as the weather gets cooler I crave soups and cream of mushroom was always my favourite. This recipe from Plant Proud  is going to be entering my meal plan soon!

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Raw desserts are something I’d really like to attempt more of and this strawberry cheesecake from Veg Hotpot looks just the thing.

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Vegan Eats and Treats spoke about noshtalgia this week with their banana pops. I love reading about food traditions in families, particularly when they look this delicious!

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Hasta La Vegan has had me in stitches this week with the bizarra and outdated cookbook theme. I loved all of the posts but this one actually looks edible!

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Thanks to everyone that has made this first week so fun! Now lets get on with the next one!

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Which posts have been your favourite this week?