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Beautiful Bakewell Tart

There’s something quite magical about baking, especially Vegan Baking.

To create beautifully delicious cakes without any harm, well it’s amazing. Especially when they taste almost as good as before.

I’ve been looking for good traditional recipes, to bake for my new little venture and asked a good few vegan’s what baked good’s they missed the most – Bakewell Tart came out on top!

So without further ado here is the recipe……….all thanks to Live Long and Vegan

 

Yum yum!

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What you’ll need:

100g Plain Flour
25g Icing Sugar
50g Vegan Margarine
50g Ground Almond
40g Self Raising Flour
30g Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Sunflower Oil
60ml Water
4 tbsp Raspberry Jam

For the topping:

200g Icing Sugar
Water – little by little

What you’ll need to do:

Start by making the shortcrust pastry base, by mixing the plain flour and icing sugar. Then add the vegan margarine and rub between your fingers until the mixture becomes breadcrumb like.  Then add water, little by little, until the mixture turns into a pastry dough.

Next roll the dough out into a circular shape on a floured work surface, until it is around 5mm thick, then push into a shallow tin of 7-8 inches diameter.  Using a fork prick the pastry and bake at 180°C for 10 minutes until just starting to harden up. Take out of the oven and out of the tin, and place on a baking tray.

Make the filling by adding the ground almonds, self raising flour,  sugar and baking powder. Stir these together well before adding the vegetable oil and cold water. Stir together and you should get a sort of gloopy cake mixture that looks a bit rough because of the ground almonds.

Now the pastry dough has cooled down add the raspberry jam. Spread this evenly over the base before carefully spooning the almond mixture on top. Spread this with the back of a spoon so that it makes an even layer with no jam poking through! Pop back in the oven at the same temperature for 25 minutes.

The middle should rise, essentially it is like a cake mixture, and you can test it after 25 minutes by putting a cocktail stick inside and seeing if it comes out clean. If it isn’t yet done, put it back in but keep a close eye on it to ensure the pastry edges don’t burn.

When cooked, remove from the oven and set aside until completely cool.

Now do the topping:

Once cooled, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add water a little bit at a time, to make a fairly stiff icing. Bear in mind, this icing needs to be spreadable, but you don’t want it all thin and running down the edges of your pastry case! Spread evenly over the cooled almond topping and there you go all done!

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Now you get to try it!

P x

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Luscious Lemon Drizzle Cake

Man….this is my favorite cake so far and it’s so easy to make!

Who said being Vegan means you miss out on your old favorites?

They were WRONG!

This is simply gorgeous, light as a feather and ‘easy peasy lemon squeezy’ to make!

Thanks to the talented baker at Heavenly Vegan Baking for this little beauty..

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What you’ll need:

250g self raising flour
2tsp baking powder
200g sugar
75ml sunflower oil
250ml soya milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Juice of one lemon (or 2 to 3 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice)
Zest of two lemons

For the topping:

Juice of one lemon (or same as above)
75g caster sugar

Ok what you’ll need to do:

Start by mixing together the milk and vinegar in a bowl.  Mix it so it curdles, this is essential as it gives it the fluffy texture and helps it rise.   Then you’ll need to grate the lemons and set to one side for the icing. Squeeze the juice of the lemon into a large bowl.

Now add the oil, sugar and lemon zest and milk mix to the large bowl and mix it all together well.

Add the flour and baking powder and combine it together, but not too well.  Once that’s done, pour the mixture into a loaf tin (making sure it’s lined with baking paper first).  Place in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes at oven temp 180 degrees (less if you have a fan assisted oven).  Take out once it’s golden and comes out clean with a slim knife.

You’ll then need to cool it in the tin whilst you make the icing, please remember not to take it out of the tin yet! (I’ll tell you when).

In a small bowl mix together the caster sugar and lemon juice.  Next pierce the cake with a toothpick or something similar across the cake, then drizzle the icing all over.   Leave the cake to cool in the tin for about 20-25 mins and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Making sure you take a big old slice to test!  I did and I was glad I did!

Let me know how yours turns out.

 

Pxx

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Oh So Easy Vegan Scones!

I love being Vegan!

Why?

Because I can make my own food AND do it without harming another living being in the process.

This makes me so happy, and more so when I come across a recipe that helps me create Scones from scratch that are so blinkin easy it’s untrue!

Thanks to All Recipes I was able to re-create them beautifully 🙂

AND they are soooooo delicious!

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I won’t go on about it because I want you to enjoy these babies too!

p.s between you and me, I’m looking to sell these and many more of my bakery creations online soon – because I love it THAT much – so stay tuned!

What you’ll need: 

  • 250g self raising flour
  • 1 pinch salt (you don’t have to)
  • 50g soya butter (or any other non-dairy marg/butter)
  • 100ml soya milk (or any other non-dairy milk)
  • 50g caster sugar
  • dried fruit (I used raisins)

What you’ll need to do:

Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4 and grease a baking tray with some of your butter/marg.  Then mix your flour, salt and soya butter and rub it together between your fingers so it starts to look like breadcrumbs. Once done stir in the sugar.

Now gradually mix, little by little, the milk leaving some of it to brush on top of the scones.  When it’s starts to turn into a dough, mix in the dried fruit.   You may need to flour the counter top first to do the next bit to stop it from sticking.   Then roll out the dough and divide into balls. Place balls on prepared tray.  Or like me, use a cookie cutter so it creates a nice shape for your scones.

Lastly bake them in the over until just golden, normally 10 to 25 minutes.

I have a fan assisted over, so took about 15 minutes! So keep an eye on them.

Voila!

What do you think?

I loved them (remember to keep your eye out either on here or on my facebook page for further info on purchasing your own)

P x

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Make Your Own Washing Up Liquid – no less!

Soooooo this is going to quick and to the point.

How many times have you frequented a supermarket and looked helplessly for a ‘cruelty-free’ range of cleaning products??

Too many times?

Personally I try not to shop in any big supermarkets anymore.  As I’ve decided to make a real impact I need to only buy from local shops, markets or farms.  I believe being cruelty-free also means putting back into our very own communities, just like it should be rather than lining the pockets of big corporate’s that most likely don’t give two figs about their staff or the environment.

What do you think?

Either way, I wanted to share with you an even better way of being cruelty free, by making your own!  It’s also pretty easy going on the pocket too.

So what will you need? (Thanks to ‘A Year Without Supermarkets’ blog)

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850ml of boiling water
1 tablespoon of soda crystals (only cost me £1.50 for 1.5kg bag!)
1 tablespoon of grated soap (cruelty free soap of course and a cheese grater – if you still have one!)
1 tablespoon of vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
2 drops of lavender oil
A squeeze of lemon juice

What you’ll need to do:

it’s so easy!

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All you need to do is put the boiling water into a large bowl, add all the other ingredients and mix well. Let the mixture cool down and then fill  an old washing up liquid bottle and there it’s done!

No more ‘cruel’ tested on animals washing up liquid!

AND it does work!

Yeah, it may not come up all bubbles and smells, but it cuts the grease and cleans every thing!

Let me know what you think

Paula  x

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Garlic Asparagus with Plentiful Mushrooms on Toast

It’s a beautifully warm rainy Sunday morning.

Sunday is my favorite day of the week, because it’s peaceful and always feels like it gives me permission to be lazy and restful.

In fact we all seem to live a crazy existence, yet Sunday helps us to unwind and reflect on what we’ve done over the past week and eases us into the next.

Do you agree?

Plus it’s raining today, which means a day in my pj’s cooking, eating, reading and resting.

Did someone say ‘cooking?’ and ‘eating?’

MEEEEEE!

Sooooo….. yesterday I went to my local market and bought a bunch of asparagus and mushrooms, with no real intention of what to actually use them for.  Yet this morning I’m thinking ‘Breakfast!’

Yey!

So with the help of this ‘vegetarian recipe‘ from Sweet Remedy I came up with this tasty vegan version 🙂

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Here’s what you’ll need (the recipe is for one, so just double up for 2 and so on….)

4 asparagus stalks
1 Tablespoons coconut oil
1  garlic cloves, finely cut
1 cup  mushrooms, sliced
2 slices of home made wholemeal bread
a sprinkle of home grown parsley

What you’ll need to do:

Lay the asparagus stalks onto a baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil and garlic on top, coating everything evenly and place into the oven (should take around 5-10 minutes). Then melt the coconut oil in a pan and toss in your sliced mushrooms. Cook until browned on both sides. Whilst doing that toast the bread and once the asparagus is cooked top the bread with the oven roasted garlic asparagus. Add the cooked mushrooms and sprinkle with the parsley.

Now EAT!!!

What do you think?  If you find the bread too hard, moisten it with a layer of coconut oil top.

Ooooooooh delicious 🙂

Enjoy

 

Paula x

 

 

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Stupidly Easy Cashew Nut ‘Cheese’

Cheese used to be one of the only foods that I would eat almost every single day.

I remember once saying that I could never go vegan because of my love of cheese.

Then I saw that the production of cheese caused pain and suffering to animals all around the world; I had to stop.

It doesn’t matter how much you think you ‘love’ something, when it comes to other’s suffering because of it then there is no choice other than to stop contributing to that suffering – whether I think I love it or no.

Being vegan means you taste so many other foods that you never thought you’d ever try, or had ever even considered eating before.   My sense’s are heightened immensely since making this change, but also knowing that what goes into my body doesn’t have to harm another living thing. Ever. Well that feeling is like nothing else.

So hereby lies my new ‘cheese’ creation made from cashew nuts!  Thanks to the  ‘Clean Food Dirty Girl’ blog, I found a very easy recipe with only a few simple ingredients

What you’ll need:

130 g of cashews soaked in 709 ml of water for at least an hour
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 turns fresh black pepper
1/4 cup water

What you’ll need to do:

This is soooo simple!

Soak, drain and rinse cashews. Then place them into a food processor, along with lemon juice, salt and black pepper.  Then pulse for about 1 minute to combine ingredients.  You’ll then need to add water and process until completely smooth, about 2 -4 minutes.

That is it!

I know so simple right!

Tell me what you think…..i adore it 🙂

 

Px

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Breakfast Scrambled ‘egg’ Tofu with Leek in Pitta Bread

I used to love eggs….

I used to love egg and soldiers (if you don’t know what that is google it, as obviously I don’t have a picture – being vegan now and all that).

That was before I realised and learnt about the horrific conditions that lay (no pun intended) before a hen whilst producing egg after egg after egg.  Or the fact that male chicks are killed just because they don’t have the reproductive organs to give us what we want for breakfast (or dinner if that’s what you prefer or preferred).

This isn’t about making something taste the same as egg

No, far from it.

But it’s about creating a tasty, cruelty and life giving free alternative to what we all know and love as breakfast.

So I made this today and was pretty proud of the outcome (smiling inwardly because it didn’t cost a life)

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So do you want to give it a go?

Here’s what you’ll need:

(serves: Serves 2-3)
  • 15 oz. tofu, firm (about 415 grams)
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable stock
  • 1 Leek
  • coconut oil
  • Organic Pitta Bread
  • plus a can of plum tomato’s and kidney beans) optional on the side

What you’ll need to do

Drain the tofu from the water and place to one side.   Now heat a nonstick pan (I used a wok) or if you don’t have nonstick make sure you use enough oil to stop it from sticking.  Then place it over a medium heat.  Plop a knob of coconut oil into the pan and add the tofu (breaking it up by hand so it resembles scramble egg) and toss it together with all the spices.

Then slice a leek and drop that in with it.  Using a spatula mix all the ingredients together so it turns a lovely yellow colour and start cooking.  Now add the veg stock a tablespoon at a time, bring it to the boil so it absorbs the tofu each time you add it.

Whilst this is cooking, in a separate pot just heat your can of tinned tomato’s and kidney beans adding a dash of paprika if you wish!

Once both are cooked thoroughly (i.e the leek has softened and the tofu absorbed all the stock) serve in your pitta bread and enjoy!

Oh don’t forget to salt and pepper the tofu for extra taste!
Soooo what do you think?

Let me know

 

Px

p.s thanks to Fork & Beans for this amazing recipe which I used to create this 🙂

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Bread baking with semolina!

Nothing beats watching your own crops grow….

If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know that I’ve got an allotment plot.   I’ve wanted to grow my own vegetables and live off the land for  a wee while now, and it looks like it’s working out. Not only am I growing veg at the allotment, I’m also growing more varied veg in my own back yard!

Excuse the washing and the dog!

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I’m growing crops such as chick peas, soya beans, courgettes, peppers and so much more.  I wanted to grow food that I’d actually eat, and being a vegan these kinds of crops will go down very nicely!

So what’s this got to do with bread?

Not much to be fair.  Other than the fact that I want to live more by my own hand, via the land and using up food that I’d never normally have used, until now.   I mean, to live well you’ve got to make do with what you’ve got right?  And since I had a few bags of semolina, I did the old google thang and hey-presto I’ve got Semolina bread!

Since starting this journey I’ve cooked things I’d never thought I’d every cook/create.  I mean, making my own soya milk was brilliant in itself but to create my own beautiful loaf would be even better – in my eyes anyway!

I’ve got this dream.  I want to live completely free of supermarkets, money (well a lot less), live off the land whilst looking after animals who might otherwise have gone to their death for the meat industry.   It’s a dream that I intend to fulfill one day, so whilst I’m working towards that I’m learning to make food from scratch from what I have.  I even want to grow my own wheat – but that’s another story!

So here’s my very first loaf of semolina bread – what do you think?

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I am absolutely proud of it to be fair and what’s more it’s really easy to make and ever so light!

So do you fancy making your own with your fair hand?  

Good – let’s do it then!

What you’ll need:

284 ml water, lukewarm
1 /14 teaspoons of active dry yeast
210 g semolina
1/2 tablespoon of salt
140 g white bread flour
Olive oil for while the bread rises

What you’ll need to do (bear with me, it may seem a lot but really it is easy!):

Start by adding your water and yeast to a large mixing bowl. Stir this together and let it sit for a few minutes until the yeast dissolves completely.  Then add your salt and semolina flour to the mix. I did it by hand, just because I wanted to do it for real 🙂

When you stir in your semolina flour, it’ll look like scrambled eggs.  Next, add about 140 g of bread flour to the dough and stir it until it forms a rough ball. If it’s really dry, add a bit more water and if it’s really sticky then sprinkle on some more flour.

Roll this out onto a lightly floured surface. It should be pretty firm at this point.

Let the semolina relax and absorb some of the water before working with it. So, let the dough rest for about 5-10 minutes before trying to knead it. It makes it a lot easier to work with – believe me :).

Then knead this dough for about 10 minutes until it’s very elastic and really smooth and soft. If the dough gets sticky at any point, sprinkle with more flour.  Then after a few minutes though you should have a very smooth dough ball.

Add this to a large bowl and coat it well with olive oil. Cover it with a towel and let it rise until it triples in size it will probably take a few hours (about 3 approx)

After the 3 hours, take the dough out of the bowl, punch it down, knead it for another minute or so, then return it to the bowl and drizzle it with more olive oil. Let it rise a second time until it doubles in size. It’ll rise a lot faster the second time. It’ll probably take only 45 minutes to an hour to get there.

Making the loaf

I decided to give it a rustic look. So I punched down the dough and then rolled it into a rectangle.  I then folded one site over 2/3rds of the way over. Then i did the same the other side and tucked in both ends to make my loaf shape.   I then scored it across the top with a sharp knife to make it look a bit more authentic.

Now preheat your oven to about 250 degree’s and lay your loaf onto a baking sheet. It will rise again so give it about 30 minutes.  Then slide your loaf into the oven leaving it at temp 200 (fan assisted oven) and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown and hollow when you hit it.

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Safe to say you’ll love this loaf, it’s ever so nice and brilliant toasted or used to dip into soup!

Enjoy creating your own food.

 

Px

Big thanks to Macheesmo.com for their fab recipe

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Home-made Soya Milk

I recently received a bag of organic soya beans and didn’t know what to do with them.   I’d considered making soya milk a few times, but never quite followed through because I thought it would be too difficult or I’d need more than a bag full of beans!

Then I stumbled upon this blog, all about making soy milk from soya beans and I just couldn’t resist giving it a try!

Guess what? It’s only blooming easy!!

It’s that easy I’ve even started to grow soya beans in my ‘garden allotment’ at home because I want to be more self sufficient, and if I can do it for myself then you can do it too! (I’ll write a post my allotment later on, because I love it!)

So here’s the recipe, give it a go.

What you’ll need:

80 grams of organic (if you can) soyabeans
1 Litre of water
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)

What you’ll need to do:

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Soak the soyabeans in water overnight for a minimum of 12 hours.  Then drain the soyabeans and remove the outer skins – this will take you about 20 minutes, I found it easier to squeeze the soyabean and watch the skin slip off.

Once you’ve taken all the skins off, blend the soyabeans with 750 milliliters of water until well blended and almost smooth.  You’ll then need to strain the blended mixture using a cheesecloth, a napkin or a strainer.

Pour the mixture in a saucepan, add 250 milliliters of water. Place the saucepan on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. Stir and skim foam.  Then cook the milk over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or so.

Once completed let it cool down. Once cooled add the vanilla essence – this will make it taste a little bit sweeter.

Then store it in an old jam jar or something similar and pop it into your fridge. It lasted around 5 days for me, but you’ll know if it’s not right by giving it a sniff!

On the plus side, it’s even good in tea! I was very pleased about that!

Px

 

Thanks to Simple Vegan Blog 

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Beautiful Spicy-ish Bok Choy Mushroom & Tomato Stir-fry

These day’s, since becoming a Vegan, I hardly go a day without making something new from the food I intercept or save before it’s about to get binned!

Personally I think becoming vegan has given me a whole lease of life when it comes to cooking because you can’t just grab any old thing from the freezer or cupboards.  It has to be well thought out beforehand!   To be fair, I find it a bit hard, especially when my staple diet used to be jacket potato’s with cheese, cheese on toast, cheesy pasta or a pizza!

Can you see the re-occurring theme here?

I loved cheese.  Yet since deciding that my diet shouldn’t include harming any other living thing, cheese is now not so important and no longer figures in my cooking repertoire anymore!

Instead i get to sample the delights of new foods such as the wonderfully tasty and nutritious Bok Choy! (collected just today in fact!)

I’ll not bore you with it’s beauty other than the fact it’s highly ranked as one of the best vegetables to eat, it’s got 21 good nutrients and rich in Omega 3, zinc and so much more. Oh and the fact that it’s absolutely to die for and so is this stir-fry!

Don’t believe me? Well, try it for yourself and see!

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What you’ll need:

1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 medium bok choy
2 tomatoes
5 mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon of chilli flakes (or a good old shake!)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon white cooking wine

What you’ll need to do:

Firstly chop the bok choy into thin, small slices. Chop the tomato into quarters. Slice the mushrooms in even, thin pieces. Peel the garlic and dice it in small pieces.

Now place all the chopped vegetables in the frying pan with the extra light olive oil, sesame oil and salt. Turning the heat to high-medium high. Once heated add the soy sauce, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Stir and cook the vegetables 6-8 minutes.

After the vegetables have been cooking for 6-8 minutes dd the cooking wine, stir and cook for another 2 minutes and turn the heat off.

Serve in a bowl and consume to your hearts desire!

Yum yum!

 

Px

p.s thanks to Devine Healthy Food for this lovely recipe 🙂

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