Simple yet delicious vegan substitutes

Are you thinking of going vegan? The benefits are all there – a plant-based diet tends to be healthier and offers numerous benefits compared with a diet centred on animal products.  If you are thinking of making the change, you may find the substitutes I found useful.   I have been looking closely at vegan substitutes and if you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ll have seen my attempts at converting some of my popular recipes into vegan versions.

Where Can You Find Good Vegan Recipes?

If you want to know a few of the best dishes then just look is at the recipes on my blog which are either vegetarian or vegan. Lately, I have been looking closely at vegan substitutes and suggesting options in my recipes.

Another good place to look for vegan recipes is online.  Simply think of a dish you would like to try and make and then search for it’s vegan option.   You will be surprised at just how much choice there is.  Just don’t get digressed like me and start playing best online casino games.  Stay focussed and do your research.

So, what are a few of the best vegan substitutes out there? Realistically, this isn’t all that difficult.   For example:

Milk and Yogurt Substitutes

 

There are already quite a reasonable number of milk substitutes out there due to the fact that thanks to lactose-intolerant people, there has always been a demand for dairy-free products. There are a number of options out there, and the best depends on the dish that you are cooking; however, some of the most popular include the likes of oat milk, hazelnut, soy, cashew, hemp, and almond.  I’ve really been enjoying Alpro Soya Unsweetened wholebean as a substitute to dairy milk. This has a very mild flavour which makes it perfect for cooking, as it avoids imparting unexpected sweetness and it doesn’t curdle unlike cheaper brands.

Dairy yoghurt (dahi) can be substituted for vegan yoghurt made from cultured soya milk, or coconut milk which adds an extra exotic depth to creamy curries.

Fats and Spreads

 

If you are looking for butter brands out there that are completely free of dairy, then you will be happy to know that there are a number of different options. Most supermarkets sell their very own types of dairy-free substitutes, but there are also large and small brands out there. The best thing you can do is experiment with a few different choices and then find out your favourite and keep using that one.  I tend to substitute ghee (aka clarified or melted butter) with vegan margarine, such as Vitalite Sunflower for spreading, or Stork for baking.

Cheese

 

While some substitutions are easy to live with (and sometimes even better), the one thing that many of you have said you can’t live without is cheese. And I know what you mean! In an Indian vegetarian diet, cheese is a key source of protein along with lentils.

But realistically, my ancestors in India would not have eaten the kinds of cheese that we have become used to in the Western world. More likely, they would have had paneer, a home made cottage cheese which is really easy to make at home.

Paneer is popular, as it’s very easy and quick to make into a tasty curry. For people who used to eat meat, I’m told it makes a good substitute.

The vegan substitute for paneer is tofu.

Tofu from the Tofoo co in packaging

Now this is an ingredient that often divides people, as they’ve had experiences cooking with it at home or eating it out. I myself have often found it quite rubbery when ordering a Thai-style red curry and, at home, I haven’t really been confident enough to use it.

That’s where the help of my son has been invaluable.  He  was the one who encouraged me to try going vegan and  we’ve been enjoying trying out a whole range of vegan alternatives, and his experience in cooking tofu really helped me develop a recipe for this delicious vegan mutter paneer – or mutter tofu.

 

With the rise of the number of people going vegan, Supermarkets have started stocking lots of vegan ingredients as well as ready meals.  There is no better time to change to a vegan diet.

There are also lots of websites about vegan substitutes some of which are listed below:

In general, vegan substitutes are widely available, simple to use and delicious. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Until then, happy cooking – and eating!

What are your top tips for vegan substitutes?

Best places to visit for amazing vegetarian and vegan food

Vegetarians and vegans are find it a  challenge when  eating out whilst on holiday.   I know I got fed up of eating the same chips and salad over and over again whilst I was travelling in the 70’s.  Over the years we have realised that researching about vegetarian and vegan food, on the internet (or using a guidebook), before travelling makes it so much easier.  Thankfully, nowadays,  there are many places that offer amazing vegetarian/vegan dishes!    People following a vegan/vegetarian diet shouldn’t have to forgo tasty food while on holiday.  With that in mind, we have compiled a list of the my top vegetarian-friendly destinations we have got to know from our travels around the world.

  1. New Delhi, India

India is a food heaven for vegetarians and vegans.  Whether it is restaurant food or street food, you are sure to find the most delicious food there.  Each Region has its speciality.  Delhi, the capital of the country is also known to be the food capital of India for food lovers. They have some of the best street food in India .  Delhi is  famous for its  Chaats and Chhole Bhature and of course the amazing Punjabi food.  Every time, we have visited Delhi, we have have had the most wonderful vegetarian and meals.  Often the meals are cooked fresh in front of you. If you are visiting India for the first time, my recommendation would be to eat food in restaurants which have been recommended for you.

Veganism  is also being embraced  everywhere and New Delhi is no different.  Most places will have vegan options on their menu.  This list has over 70  several  vegetarian and vegan restaurants in New Delhi. Cafes like Rose and Greenr listed here  are the go-to vegan places, and Nut and Bowls cafe is the latest entrant. But what’s even more interesting, is how cafes across Delhi are waking up to this culture and including vegan options in their menus.

2.  Paris, France

Even though Paris is known for its amazing steak frites and cheese boards, there are also many vegetarian restaurants you can enjoy!  Vegan and vegetarian cuisine is the hot new culinary trend in Paris and plant-based restaurants are popping up all over to cater for eco and health-conscious diners. The 11 best vegan & vegetarian restaurants in Paris are listed here.

Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, or just searching for great  dining options, it’s nice to have personal recommendations. That’s why I always check which restaurants are included in Happy Cow List.  This list  features the 10 best vegan restaurants in Paris, as determined by the highest scores calculated from their  community member reviews.

 

3.  Las Vegas, Nevada

If you’re planning a vacation to the US, then be sure to visit Las Vegas! The city does have many options for vegetarians and vegans with its high demand for organic foods. This is the list of  the 10 best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Las vegas. VegeNation is a community-based restaurant on a mission to lead a food revolution and  cook with 100% plant-based ingredients.  Our favourite is Violette’s Vegan Organic Eatery.   Their extensive menu offers a wide variety of items to tempt every palate and they also specialise in healthy juices and smoothies,

Of course, there’s no doubt that Las Vegas is not for everyone. Some people really aren’t into gambling it’s associated with, while many people prefer using the best rated USA online casino or games rooms they can find on the web. If you’re a first-timer to Las Vegas and a first-time gambler,  don’t be nervous – just ask the croupiers to explain the game. 

4.  London, England

London. has a lot to offer when it comes to vegan/vegetarian holidays, with more and more Londoners switching to a plant-based lifestyle.   The city has a huge list of vegan restaurants, as well as street food in markets such as the Camden Market and Borough Market.

If  you are looking for a fancy restaurant then choose  the Oxo Tower Restaurant in Southwark.   This restaurant is on the eighth floor of the  OXO Tower on London’s South Bank and the views of the London Skyline from this restaurant are spectacular.  This  restaurant always has lots of vegan options on the menu and here is my  review for this restaurant.

5.  Edinburgh, Scotland

If you find yourself in Edinburgh and want to try some great vegetarian food, you are in for a treat.  A  recent survey placed Edinburgh second in a list of the most vegan populated areas in the UK (Glasgow came first), so you won’t be surprised to learn that the capital has plenty of vegetarian and vegan restaurants.

To help you make the most of this vegan food celebration, listed here are some of the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Edinburgh.  Our favourite is Kalpna. Check out their  lunchtime deals of thalis and buffet as well as their varieties of different Indian street food like Pakoras and Sev Dahi Puri

For information on where to get vegan food in some cities of USA read this. 

If  you have a hunger for Authentic Vegetarian Food then subscribe to my blog and receive delectable recipes and new Innovative foodie updates! Hungry for more Vegetarian Tips ? LIKE us on facebook,  Follow us on Twitter,  Pinterest and Instagram.  All the recipes are with step by step instructions and photographs and all of them have been tried, tested, easy to cook and delicious.

If you are interested in one to one or group cookery lessons, or any corporate team building events  – email me on givemesomespice@gmail.com for more information.  

Best places to get vegan food in the United States 

Every year Veganuary inspires millions of people round the World to try being vegan for a month.  In January, Supermarkets  and restaurants, make sure that vegan choices are readily available . There are now a significant number of vegan restaurants in the United States and its become a wonderful place to live if you are vegan. With so many different options for food, it would be hard not to find something delicious in the entire country.

This blog has several vegan recipes for you to try.  However, if you are travelling in the USA, here are some of the best places to get vegan food in America!  

Millennium, San Francisco, CA

Millennium is a gourmet vegan restaurant in San Francisco, California. It has been serving excellent food since 1994. Any item listed under the ‘Greens’ menu is completely vegan – there are over 20 dishes to choose from, including their famous Tofu Scramble. 

They have an amazing breakfast pot pie that will leave you stuffed for the rest of the day. On top of that, their dinner is not too expensive (around $25 for a main dish), and neither is their wine menu.

Candle 79, New York City, NY 

Candle 79 is another gourmet establishment. It is located in the heart of New York City on Columbus Circle, having opened in 2005. Their dinner menu has over 25 vegan dishes to choose from, with prices varying but averaging about $20 for a main course. 

The food here is simple yet delicious, and they have great vegan desserts (however, they are known for their non-vegan desserts, which include honey).

Cafe No Fur, Las Vegas, NV

Vegan food isn’t the first thing you think of when you think of Vegas. However, Cafe No Fur is the first completely vegan restaurant on the Vegas Strip. They serve breakfast all day long with sandwiches, salads, and smoothies. Plus, if you’re in the area, you can make the most of your visit and enjoy everything Vegas has to offer, such as it’s many casinos. Check with who you’re with though. Some people like to gamble in casinos, others prefer online casinos. There’s plenty more to Vegas than gambling, and Cafe No Fur shows that! 

Bistro Vonish, Austin, TX

Bistro Vonish is a small vegan restaurant in Austin, Texas. They have main courses that range from $8-$18, and their wine list only has vegan wines. Their menu changes every day depending on what they can get fresh at the market.

Plum Bistro, Seattle, WA

Another gourmet vegan restaurant, Plum Bistro is located in Seattle on 12th Avenue. They have some of the best vegan burgers you could imagine – check out their buffalo burger! Most main dishes are around $10, and they have a full bar as well as some good gluten-free options.

 

Chicago Diner, Chicago, IL

Chicago Diner has been open for over 30 years and has developed quite a loyal following. They serve breakfast all day and even have vegan pizza, burgers, and milkshakes! Plus, you can get their food delivered to your door if you’re in the area – who doesn’t love delivery? The prices are cheap, and the food is amazing. 

It’s not hard to find vegan food in America – even if you’re living in a small town, there are probably options for take-out! There are plenty of other places you could look up, but this list should get you started! Enjoy your vegan cuisine.  

For information on where you can get some amazing vegetarian and vegan food round the world read this. 

ZENB Veggie Bites and Veggie Sticks and My Impulse Vegan Salad

For the last couple of years, we have been doing Veganuary and, in my case, I eat mostly vegan the majority of the time – except that sometimes when I am busy and get hungry, I reach for granola bars which are often not vegan. Plus, they are really not suitable for me as I am a diabetic. This year we decided that we would continue to do Veganuary and eat more fruit and raw vegetables if possible and as a result we have tried to make more salads which have both fruits and vegetables in. However, with the second Lockdown, we found that we were not able to go to the Farmers Markets and with Brexit, we found that the supermarket online deliveries often missed out some of the fruit and vegetables and that they sometimes don’t look as fresh as the ones we would usually buy at the market. So, when I was asked to try out the ZENB Veggie Sticks and Veggie Bites, I was happy to do so and agreed to act as an ambassador for the ZENB Veganuary activity.

A bit about ZENB:

ZENB is a new, organic, plant-based brand that strives to give customers the opportunity to eat delicious on-the-go snacks, whilst also being respectful of the resources of our natural environment. The name ZENB is derived from the Japanese word “Zenbu” meaning “whole”. The company believes in including as much of the vegetable as possible, including the peel, skin, stem and seeds to help raise awareness around issues of food waste. Through the power of plants, ZENB strives to build a food lifestyle for the future.

A bit about ZENB’s products 

ZENB make their own veggie bars called Veggie Sticks as well as Veggie Bites. Both of these products are plant-based, vegan, organic, gluten free, a source of fibre and free from artificial flavours or preservatives. Their products are available exclusively from ZENB.co.uk. 

The ZENB Veggie Sticks are made using the vegetables, as well as puffed brown rice, red quinoa and almonds to complement and enhance the simple flavour of the vegetables. These are available in four flavours – Beetroot, Carrot, Pumpkin and Red Pepper. The ZENB Veggie Sticks champion the whole vegetable meaning they include the parts often discarded from seed to skin, and stem to peel – helping to raise awareness around issues of food waste.

The ZENB Veggie Bites are veggie-first snacks complemented with an enticing blend of fruit, nuts and spices, to create a range of five unique flavour-pairings – Carrot, Pineapple and Coriander, Pumpkin, Apple and Cacao Nib, Beetroot, Orange and Cacao Nib, Red Pepper, Tomato and Chili and Sweet Potato, Mango and Cinnamon.  These come in portable resealable pouches making it easy to enjoy them anytime and anywhere.  Just like ZENB Veggie Sticks, ZENB Veggie Bites use as much of the whole vegetable as possible to help raise awareness around issues of food waste.

 

How I like to eat them:

  1. I find that I get bored very easily, especially as I am working from home at the moment and the ZENB Veggie Bites are the perfect thing to snack on during my online meetings.  When we used to have face to face team meetings in the Office, we always had some biscuits or mints etc. to graze on during the breaks but that doesn’t happen when the meetings are online.
  2. I always keep a ZENB Veggie Stick in my coat pocket when I go for the one walk I am allowed during lockdown.  I really don’t want to go to any takeaway coffee shops now so the Veggie Sticks are handy to snack on.
  3. I like to include the ZENB Veggie Bites in my salad and I also used a few in my curry to see how they tasted too.

My Impulse Salad Recipe:

The salad recipe is really very easy. Just gather whatever vegetables and fruit you have in your fridge and wash and prepare them in a bowl. The pandemic has taught all of us to economise and improvise with whatever food we have available – I used some lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, peaches, cucumber, raw broccoli, some passion fruit and topped that with the Carrot, Pineapple and Coriander Bites.  I chose these flavours for two reasons – one was that I didn’t have any carrots or coriander to add to my salad and the second was that I thought the pineapple would blend well with passion fruit.  Both pineapple and passion fruit remind me of my childhood in Kenya, where these fruits were sold outside our school along with mangoes and barbecued sweet corn.  We really enjoyed the combination of flavours in our salad bowl. The Carrot, Pineapple and Coriander Bites had just the right flavours to blend in with the rest of the ingredients and it meant we didn’t really need to add any condiments to the salad either.

Curry Topping 

Those of you who like my curries must have seen that I often like to add paneer, veggie dumplingskoftas or tofu to my curries so it’s no surprise that I added the Red Pepper, Tomato and Chilli bites to my mung bean curry. The Veggie Bites gave the curry a bit of a bite and it was perfect to have with my parathas. The flavours of the Veggie Bites were subtle and blended really nicely with the curry.

My husband and I enjoyed the ZENB Veggie Bites and Veggie Sticks. They were perfect for snacking, especially for me during Veganuary.  As mentioned above, the ZENB snacks are plant-based, vegan, organic, gluten free and a source of fibre as well as free from artificial flavours or preservatives

Are you interested in trying these? ZENB Veggie Bites and Veggie Sticks can be ordered exclusively from www.ZENB.co.uk and they are happy for all my readers and followers to receive a 10% discount by using the code MINA10.

 Disclaimer:  Post in collaboration with ZENB

Can switching to a vegan diet help tackle obesity?

 

Cambridge has a really good choice of vegetarian and vegan restaurants.  The award winning vegan restaurant Stem and Glory in Cambridge is the one I really like to eat at for lots of reasons.  It has a great menu and i love it’s quaint location – tucked away but just minutes  from centre of Cambridge.

When I did Veganuary in 2019, I was interviewed by That’s TV Cambridge at  Stem & Glory.   Stem & Glory reopened in July after being closed for a few months due to Covid-19. The restaurant, with branches in London and Cambridge, is now open with a new menu, new seating (to allow for social distancing) and full range of measures in place to keep staff and customers safe.

The Cambridge restaurant has been made Covid safe, with ample space to service the manage the delivery, take away and ready meal side of the business and a new menu has been designed to give both eat in and take away customers a personalised experience.

Stem & Glory’s vegan menu is appealing to both – those seeking simple and delicious food or those wanting a more gastronomic dining experience.

Louise Palmer-Masterton is founder of Stem & Glory.  She feels that many people took the lockdown period as an opportunity to re-think their lifestyle and try new, healthier dishes and vegan eating has become popular post Covid era.  I found this article written by her very interesting and useful.

Can switching to a vegan diet help tackle obesity? 

The link to Covid-19 crisis and being a few pounds overweight, increasing your risk of complications due to the disease has brought the government to its senses on the matter of obesity.

But it’s hardly news that being overweight increases your vulnerability to ill health – diabetes to heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, kidney and liver disease to name but a few. The question now is how do we help people to lose weight and learn better eating habits?

How can a vegan diet help?

According to Peta, meat-eaters have three times the obesity rate of vegetarians and nine times the obesity rate of vegans. So it seems just cutting meat and dairy will immediately improve your chances of weight loss.

Indeed, recent research by Dr Katarina Kos, senior lecturer in diabetes and obesity at the University of Exeter, showed that vegan or plant-based diets are effective in providing more weight loss. The side product of which is an improvement in diabetes and in diabetes and weight-related complications.

This isn’t new information either, a Swedish study back in 2005 showed that self-identified semi-vegetarian, lactovegetarian, and vegan women have a lower risk of obesity than omnivorous women. The advice of that report 15 years ago when veganism was hardly known was to ‘consume more plant foods and less animal products to help control your weight’.

So, whether you go fully vegan, or remain flexitarian, eating fewer animal products and more plants will help you lose weight, and in turn improve your health outcomes.

What are the barriers to a predominantly vegan diet?

Many people report, when moving to a plant-based diet, that they are always hungry. That was certainly the case for me. Why is this?

Switching to a plant-based diet means a move from high fat, calorie dense foods such as meat and dairy, so the body takes a while to adjust. The solution is either 1. eat more calories, or 2. eat a greater proportion, and a wider variety of proteins. Number 2 being the better option in supporting weight loss. Legumes such as chickpeas, combined with tofu, quinoa and a sprinkling of nuts and seeds for example will combine to give a greater protein content than just eating chickpeas alone. As with any dietary change, the body does get used to it, but give yourself a month to adapt.

Meat and cheese replacements

I am a believer in sticking mainly to natural whole foods – fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains – and avoiding processed foods where possible. With the explosion in plant-based meat replacements currently it’s easy to lose sight of this. I do think meat replacements play a part in the conversion to eating more plant-based foods and less animal products, BUT I don’t believe they are a sustainable solution for health and weight loss.

Take the explosion in vegan junk food, known as ‘dirty vegan’. Dirty vegan is huge on the plant-based scene right now. Enormous stacked plant-based burgers, deep fried seitan (basically wheat gluten), chips, mayo, mac and cheese, all comfort foods and no doubt delicious BUT very high in calories and low in natural unprocessed ingredients.

And here lies the caution. Don’t be fooled into thinking that just eating plant-based food without attention to nutrition and calories will lead to better health and weight loss. The first vegan I ever met was very large and overweight. He lived on a diet mostly of potato chips!

The explosion in vegan cheese is also a red flag for me. A high fat and highly processed product which can never be healthy in my view. And if real dairy products are a problem for health and weight loss, then when we do eventually have an engineered cow milk product with all the same nutrients as real dairy, then unfortunately that will carry all the same health and weight loss risk as real dairy.

How do we make plant-based food delicious and interesting?

At Stem & Glory, we believe that gut friendly food, low in refined carbs, is the way to go. We focus on natural vegetables accompanied by nutrient dense components such as nuts and seeds. There is a big focus on layering umami flavours and flavour combining to get that explosion of deliciousness which overrides any need to eat huge portions to feel satisfied.

We use fermented and pickled foods too which are really good for your microbiome and overall health. In terms of the future of food, we believe this is where it lies. Fermented foods can play a huge part in strengthening the immune system, they are naturally probiotic, improving your digestive system and natural gut flora, which support all bodily functions and helps with weight loss.

Plant-based food can play a huge part in tackling obesity, and if you do just one thing to help with weight loss, then simply turning vegan is moving in the right direction. But moving away from vegan junk and meat replacements, towards natural unprocessed food is the right way to achieve optimum health and healthy weight.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Louise Palmer-Masterton is founder of multiple award-winning restaurants Stem & Glory; hip and trendy but accessible plant-based restaurants, serving delicious gourmet vegan food from locally sourced ingredients, 100% made on site. Stem & Glory also offers click-and-collect and local delivery in London and Cambridge.  www.stemandglory.uk  

Social Media:

Web: www.stemandglory.uk
Twitter: @stemandglory
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stemandglory/
Instagram: @stemandglory
Linked in: /louisepalmer-masterton
Seedrs: https://www.seedrs.com/stemandglory

This article was written by Louise Palmer-Masterton and shared here with her permission.

You may find this article written by my son interesting.

If  you have a hunger for Authentic Vegetarian Food then subscribe to my blog and receive delectable recipes and new Innovative foodie updates! Hungry for more Vegetarian Tips ? LIKE us on facebook,  Follow us on Twitter,  Pinterest and Instagram.  All the recipes are with step by step instructions and photographs and all of them have been tried, tested, easy to cook and delicious.

If you are interested in one to one or group cookery lessons, or any corporate team building events  – email me on givemesomespice@gmail.com for more information.

 

Recipes for a Rainy Day – Mac and Cheese and Vegan Caesar Salad

Baked mac and cheese is one of the best comfort foods in the world

Is there anything better than cosying up on a rainy day and eating good food? I think not! When it comes to rainy day recipes, the UK has got it nailed. After all, it rains an awful lot here! Whether you prefer a warming bowl of pasta or a delicious take on the classic Caesar salad, there is a recipe out there for every kind of rainy-day mood. So, the next time you find yourself stuck at home while it rains, why not try one of these firm favourites to brighten your day?

Baked Mac and Cheese

Well-known as comfort food, mac and cheese is a staple of American and British cuisine. There are plenty of such recipes out there, but if there’s one that’s absolutely guaranteed to get smiles at the dinner table – it’s baked mac and cheese!

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g / 8oz of macaroni

Topping

  • 40g breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

Sauce

  • 4 tbsp / 60g unsalted butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 750ml milk
  • 200g grated cheddar cheese
  • 100g grated mozzarella
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp mustard powder

METHOD:

Pasta

  1. Put a large saucepan of water on the stove and bring to the boil. Add the macaroni and cook according to the instructions on the packet.
  2. Drain the pasta, put it back into the saucepan and set aside while you get on with making the topping.

Topping

  1. Combine the topping ingredients and mix well. Set aside while you make the sauce.

Sauce

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat on the stove.
  3. Add the flour and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until a thick paste appears.
  4. Add 250ml of milk, mixing it well until the paste is dissolved into the milk. Then add the remaining milk.
  5. Add in the salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and mustard powder.
  6. Stir for 5 minutes, until it reaches a cream-like consistency.
  7. Remove from the stove, add the cheese.
  8. Pour the sauce into the saucepan with the macaroni and mix well.

Assemble

  1. Put macaroni and sauce into a baking dish. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top.
  2. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes, or until the top is a golden brown.
  3. Serve hot with a Caesar’s salad

Salads don’t have to be boring!

Vegan Caesar Salad

Caesar salad is a firm favourite, you can’t go wrong by serving this one up! It’s such a crowd-pleaser that it’s even served up by All American Dave’s food truck at World Series events, which goes to show just how popular it is. It also is a great way to show any Omni friends you have that vegan and vegetarian food doesn’t have to be boring!

INGREDIENTS

Croutons
  • 1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
Dressing
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 60ml water
  • 30ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 15ml lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp capers
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 2 tbsp hulled hemp seeds
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 15ml virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
Lettuce
  • 5 cups chopped kale
  • 10 cups chopped romaine lettuce

METHOD

Croutons

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F. Drain and rinse chickpeas then place into a clean tea towel and rub dry.
  2. Put the chickpeas onto a baking sheet. Drizzle on the olive oil, then add the garlic powder, salt, and cayenne and toss to coat.
  3. Roast for 20 minutes, then roll the chickpeas around on the baking sheet. Roast for another 10 minutes, until golden.

Dressing

  1. Put the cashews along with the other dressing ingredients into a blender, and blend on high until the dressing is super smooth. Set aside.

Parmesan cheese

  1. Finely chop cashews and garlic in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until the mixture is combined.

Assemble

  1. Place chopped kale and lettuce into a bowl. Add the dressing and toss until fully coated. Sprinkle on the croutons and parmesan cheese and serve.

Other rainy day recipes you may wish to check out are as follows:

If  you have a hunger for Authentic Vegetarian Food then subscribe to my blog and receive delectable recipes and new Innovative foodie updates! Hungry for more Vegetarian Tips? LIKE us on facebook,  Follow us on Twitter,  Pinterest and Instagram.  All the recipes are with step by step instructions and photographs and all of them have been tried, tested, easy to cook and delicious.

If you are interested in one to one or group cookery lessons, or any corporate team building events  – email me on givemesomespice@gmail.com for more information.  

Best Vegan Restaurants in London

Since taking up the Veganuary challenge last year and again this year, I have found quite a bit of exposure for my blog. I got interviewed last year and this year by That’s TV Cambridge again.  Here is the link to my interview this year.

Since veganuary,  I am always on the look out for vegan products when shopping and also looking at restaurant menus for vegan options.

We were looking for a  restaurant with vegan options in London to treat the family and we came across quite a few recommendations. We found that the best place to look for  restaurants was squaremeal.  This website was great as it had a list of restaurants with lots of vegan options. The list was also divided  into different categories such as fancy vegan, casual vegan, fast food vegan etc.

Some of the fancy restaurants on the website were amazing and we had difficulty deciding on which one to go to. Here are some that we looked at and discussed about before making a choice.

I was really keen to go to the Restaurant at Sanderson  where they serve a delicious Mad Hatter’s vegan afternoon tea with a bit of wackiness.  Some of the treats on the menu were Tweedle Dee orange and peanut butter cupcake, and a Queen of Hearts pecan, chocolate and coconut cookie. They also have some surprise dishes such as  marshmallow mushrooms tasting of strawberries and cream.  My niece and I liked this restaurant  but were overruled by the majority so the two of us have booked to go there for my birthday.

Image from:  https://www.squaremeal.co.uk/restaurants/best-for/best-vegan-restaurants-in-london_9452. Don’t you just love the teapot?

As my husband likes Indian food, we looked at the menu for Chakra.  Chakra has a dedicated vegan menu of  Indian food of all our favourite dishes such as black truffle kulcha served with mint sauce and a mix of pickles, Crispy okra sprinkled with dry mango powder, and slow-cooked roasted aubergine with cumin, garlic, ginger and a tomato purée all served with Indian beer.  My sons didn’t fancy Indian food so my husband and I plan to treat ourselves at this restaurant for his birthday.

Image from: https://www.squaremeal.co.uk/restaurants/best-for/best-vegan-restaurants-in-london_9452. Don’t you just love the colours?

Next weekend my niece and I are going to try out the vegan menu  at Farmacy in Notting Hill.  This restaurant really interested us as we read that the owner grows all the biodynamic vegetables in Kent, which are transported daily by electric van to its London restaurants.

Image from: https://www.squaremeal.co.uk/restaurants/best-for/best-vegan-restaurants-in-london_9452.  Love this healthy spiced buckwheat winter bowl.

We were looking for a fancy restaurant and chose the Oxo Tower Restaurant in Southwark.   This restaurant is on the eighth floor of the  OXO Tower on London’s South Bank and the views of the London Skyline from this restaurant are spectacular.  This  restaurant always has lots of vegan options on the menu and we had the Falafel, red pepper and feta salad, spiced pomegranate dressing  and the Tempura nanami tofu, miso Asian slaw, bok choy.  Both dishes were presented perfectly and we couldn’t wait to dig in.  The padron peppers and the pomegranate with the salad dressing gave the  felafel a lovely taste.  The tofu too tasted great with the miso slaw.  Both these dishes were served with side dishes of baby potatoes and broccoli.   Here is my  review for this restaurant.

I shall continue doing veganuary posts regularly so  watch out for more vegan recipes. 

If you have a hunger for Authentic Vegetarian Food then subscribe to my blog and and receive delectable recipes and new Innovative foodie updates! Hungry for more Vegetarian Tips  LIKE us on facebook  and Follow us on Twitter.  All the recipes are with step by step instructions and photographs and all of them have been tried, tested, easy to cook and delicious.

Disclaimer: sponsored post 

Vegan & Veggie Pizza using Jus Rol Sour Dough Pizza Base

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Have you tried the new Jus-Rol Sourdough Pizza base?  I hadn’t until my son bought it to for me to try.  It’s suitable for vegetarians and vegans.  What I liked about it that it’s ready to shape and put any readily available toppings on it. The sour dough adds an extra taste to the pizza. This dough is a lot different to the ready made pizza dough sold by the Northern Dough company that I reviewed a couple of years ago.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of Jus Rol Jus Rol Sour Dough Pizza Base dough
  • 1 cup passata
  • some piquante pepper (can use any sweet peppers)
  • some pepper slices
  • some onion slices
  • some chillies
  • handful of sweetcorn
  • handful of diced pineapple
  • 1 cup of vegan cheese (or any cheese of your choice)
  • 1 tsp oregano

Method:

  1.  Follow the instructions on the dough packet and roll out the base.  Don’t be surprised if it looks too thin.

2.  Preheat the oven to 180° C (350 °F) .  Layer it with toppings of your choice and put it in the oven to bake .

3.For baking I did not bake it for as long as it said on the packet.  It only took my fan oven about 7 minutes to cook the pizza.

4. We enjoyed the pizza which had a crispy base and our toppings were just the way we like them – Hot and spicy.

You may wish to see the following pizza recipes in my blog:

Vegan and Veggie Pizza using Jus Rol Sour Dough Pizza Base

Have you tried the new Jus-Rol Sourdough Pizza base?  I hadn’t until my son bought it to try.  It’s suitable for vegetarians and vegans.  What I liked about it that it’s ready to shape and put any readily available toppings on it. The sour dough adds an extra taste to the pizza.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Italian
Keyword: PIZZA
Author: Mina Joshi

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of Jus Rol Jus Rol Sour Dough Pizza Base dough
  • 1 cup passata
  • some piquante pepper (can use any sweet peppers)
  • some pepper slices
  • some onion slicess
  • ome chillies
  • handful of sweetcorn
  • handful of diced pineapple
  • 1 cup of vegan cheese (or any cheese of your choice)
  • 1 tsp oregano

Instructions

  • Follow the instructions on the dough packet and roll out the base.
  • Preheat the oven to 180° C (350 °F) .  Layer it with toppings of your choice and put it in the oven to bake .
  • For baking I did not bake it for as long as it said on the packet.  It only took my fan oven about 7 minutes to cook the pizza.
  • We enjoyed the pizza which had a crispy base and our toppings were just the way we like them – Hot and spicy.

 

If  you have a hunger for Authentic Vegetarian Food then subscribe to my blog and receive delectable recipes and new Innovative foodie updates! Hungry for more Vegetarian Tips ? LIKE us on facebook,  Follow us on Twitter,  Pinterest and Instagram.  All the recipes are with step by step instructions and photographs and all of them have been tried, tested, easy to cook and delicious.

If you are interested in one to one or group cookery lessons, or any corporate team building events  – email me on givemesomespice@gmail.com for more information.  

Disclaimer:  This post and recipe is shared as I liked the product.  I was not paid or sent any free samples by the company. The views and comments are mine.

Vegan wraps with potato and cheese filling (Vegan Aloo Cheese Frankie)


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Frankies are a popular street food in Mumbai where they make soft chappatis and fill them likea wrap using a spicy potato filling. I used the Mumbai recipe for the potato stuffing and used normal tortillas to wrap it in.  They turned out just as great with the addition of my Red and green chutneys.

Ingredients:

Method:

1. Boil and mash the potatoes and keep aside.  Chop the onions finely and keep aside. Make the Red and green chutney. Use a garlic press and prepare the garlic. Chop the green chilies finely.

2. Mix the chili powder and chaat masala in a bowl.

3. Heat the oil in a wok or saucepan.  Add the cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds brown, add the garlic and green chilies and mashed potatoes to the wok .Add the coriander and garam masala and mix.  Allow to cook until its hot.

 

4.Once you are able to handle the potato mix, divide into 5-6  elongated shapes similar to sausages.

6. Cook these lightly on a dry non stick pan so that they are warm when eating.  I cooked and lightly browned them on my non stick roti maker.

7. Now assemble everything to make your frankie.

8. Lightly warm the tortilla and spread the red and green chutneys on it as per your taste. Spread the cheese, onions, jalapenos and rest the potato roll on the wrap.  Sprinkle the chili and chaat masala on top and  wrap the frankie tightly around the tortilla

9.  Cut the tortilla into two and serve it with any crisps and one of your chutneys.  You can make your frankie to taste as hot and spicy as you like.

Do try out these recipes using tortillas from my blog:

Vegan Aloo Cheese Frankie ( vegan wrap with potato and cheese filling)

Frankies are a popular street food in Mumbai where they make soft chappatis and fill them likea wrap using a spicy potato filling. I used the Mumbai recipe for the potato stuffing and used normal tortillas to wrap it in.  They turned out just as great with the addition of my Red and green chutneys.
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: wraps
Author: Mina Joshi

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Boil and mash the potatoes and keep aside.  Chop the onions finely and keep aside. Make the Red and green chutney. Use a garlic press and prepare the garlic. Chop the green chilies finely.
  • Mix the chili powder and chaat masala in a bowl.
  • Heat the oil in a wok or saucepan.  Add the cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds brown, add the garlic and green chilies and mashed potatoes to the wok .Add the coriander and garam masala and mix.  Allow to cook until its hot.
  • Once you are able to handle the potato mix, divide into 5-6  elongated shapes similar to sausages.
  • Cook these lightly on a dry non stick pan so that they are warm when eating.  I cooked and lightly browned them on my non stick roti maker.

Now assemble everything to make your Frankie.

  • Lightly warm the tortilla and spread the red and green chutneys on it as per your taste. Spread the cheese, onions, jalapenos and rest the potato roll on the wrap.  Sprinkle the chili and chaat masala on top and  wrap the frankie tightly around the tortilla
  • Cut the tortilla into two and serve it with any crisps and one of your chutneys.  You can make your frankie to taste as hot and spicy as you like.

I shall be doing veganuary posts regularly so  watch out for more vegan recipes. 

If you have a hunger for Authentic Vegetarian Food then subscribe to my blog and and receive delectable recipes and new Innovative foodie updates! Hungry for more Vegetarian Tips? LIKE us on facebook  and Follow us on Twitter.  All the recipes are with step by step instructions and photographs and all of them have been tried, tested, easy to cook and delicious.

If you are interested in one to one or group cookery lessons, or any corporate team building events   – email me on givemesomespice@gmail.com for more information.  

 

Fruity and Nutty Porridge with cinnamon (vegan)


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For my breakfast, I love having cold overnight oats with fruit amd yogurt but my husband likes to have hot oats with fruit and milk.  Either way, oats makes a good healthy wholesome breakfast. There are lots of different ways of making oats and each family has a favourite My way of making oats is quick and can be packed to be taken to eat on the go.

Ingredients for one small serving:

  • ½ cup porridge oats
  • 1 cup oats milk (You can use any milk)
  • ½ cup any frozen fruit (I chose berries such as blueberries, blackberries and cranberries)
  • a few nuts such as cashews, almonds amd walnuts
  • 1 tsp Honey ( Use maple syrup if you are a vegan)
  • 1 tsp. butter or substitute
  •  some cinnamon to sprinkle on top of porridge

Method:

  1. Transfer the oats, milk and fruit into a saucepan.

2. Cook this on a low heat stirring often – until it starts to thicken and not much milk remains.

3. Add butter or butter substitute and remove the porridge into a serving dish.You can add honey to it if you want, or sliced bananas depending on your mood.

4.You can also add nuts and sprinkle with cinnamon on your porridge.

How do you like your porridge?

Fruity and Nutty Porridge with Cinnamon

For my breakfast, I love having cold overnight oats with fruit amd yogurt but my husband likes to have hot oats with fruit and milk.  Either way, oats makes a good healthy wholesome breakfast. There are lots of different ways of making oats and each family has a favourite My way of making oats is quick and can be packed to be taken to eat on the go.
Servings: 1
Author: Mina Joshi

Ingredients

  • ½ cup porridge oats

  • 1 cup oats milk (You can use any milk)
  • ½ cup any frozen fruit (I chose berries such as blueberries, blackberries and cranberries)
  • a few nuts such as cashews, almonds amd walnuts
  • 1 tsp Honey (If you are a vegan - use maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp butter or substitute
  • some cinnamon to sprinkle

Instructions

  • Transfer the oats, milk and fruit into a saucepan.

  • Cook this on a low heat stirring often – until it starts to thicken and not much milk remains.

  •  Add butter or butter substitute and remove the porridge into a serving dish.You can add honey to it if you want, or sliced bananas depending on your mood.

  • You can also add nuts and sprinkle with cinnamon on your porridge.

How do you like your porridge?

    I shall be doing veganuary posts regularly so  watch out for more vegan recipes. 

    If  you have a hunger for Authentic Vegetarian Food then subscribe to my blog and receive delectable recipes and new Innovative foodie updates! Hungry for more Vegetarian Tips ? LIKE us on facebook,  Follow us on Twitter,  Pinterest and Instagram.  All the recipes are with step by step instructions and photographs.  All the recipes have been tried, tested and are easy to cook and delicious.

    If you are interested in one to one or group cookery lessons, or any corporate team building events  – email me on givemesomespice@gmail.com for more information.