dinner, quick meals, savoury

LEMON BASIL PASTA (vegan)

lemon basil pasta recipe

Although I love spending time in the kitchen cooking, there’s always days where after a long day at work I just want to get home and get dinner on the table as quickly as possible. Recently, I’ve been trying to come up with some new recipes that are quick and easy but that don’t compromise on taste as a result. Pasta is often a go-to weeknight dish but I was growing slightly bored of the usual tomato sauce or pesto pasta, and so I came up with this lemon basil pasta dish instead. I’ve previously shared another 10 minute pasta recipe on the blog which can you take a look at here: one pot garlic harissa pasta recipe.

This lemon basil pasta takes just 10 minutes to make, and uses only 5 ingredients, so as well as being quick and easy, it’s also gentle on the purse strings! The lemon and basil make for a zesty and fresh base for the dish, and the nutritional yeast takes the dish from ‘good’ to ‘really good’ (although nutritional yeast seems to have this effect on most dishes!).

baking, sweet

STRAWBERRY ROSE COOKIES (vegan)

Do you ever have those days where just nothing you try in the kitchen goes right? I had one of those days when I started making these cookies. The cookies themselves were fine – they looked and tasted delicious! I was then originally going to coat them in melted dark chocolate and leave to set. But I just could not melt chocolate successfully – my makeshift bain marie really failed me that day! I ended up eating lumpy half melted dark chocolate and shoving the cookies in the freezer, vowing to try again another day.

However, it ended up being a blessing in disguise, as I decided that the flavour of the dark chocolate would end up overpowering the subtle rose flavour. Instead, I thought I’d incorporate the rose water into an icing and top with freeze dried strawberries. And so these strawberry rose cookies were borne. Mine are heart shaped, to fit in with this week’s Valentine’s theme, but you can cut these into any shape you like if you’re not making them for your Valentine.

baking, dessert, sweet

SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE BROWNIES (vegan)

salted caramel chocolate brownies with pretzels

Not so long ago I posted a recipe for a salted caramel apple pie. When I first tested the recipe for that, I ended up with leftover salted caramel sauce, so I had think about what other sweet treat I could come up with to use it up. I’d been planning to make my chocolate orange brownies that weekend, so instead decided to combine the two to make salted caramel chocolate brownies.

The gooey-ness of the salted caramel chocolate brownies combined with the crunchy topping of the salted pretzels makes for an interesting and tasty texture combination.

aquafaba, dinner, savoury

VEGAN RICOTTA AND SUNDRIED TOMATO RAVIOLI (vegan)

vegan ravioli recipe process

Vegan friendly pasta is readily available at supermarkets as long as you stick to dry pasta. However, for those wanting to branch out a bit from the standard fusilli or penne, finding vegan ravioli is a lot more challenging. Ravioli pasta is usually made with egg, and the vegetarian versions pretty much always contain cheese. With this in mind, once I’d perfected my vegan ricotta cheese recipe, the next recipe I began working on was a vegan ravioli recipe that would use the ricotta cheese. I used aquafaba to replace the egg and found that pasta is surprisingly easy to make – even without a pasta machine! The intense flavour of the sundried tomato in this ravioli means that you only need to serve the pasta with a bit of olive oil or vegan butter rather than loading on a flavour-heavy sauce.

aquafaba, savoury, side or starter, snacks

SEITAN AND SUNDRIED TOMATO BITES WITH ROASTED GARLIC DIP (vegan)

vegan seitan and sundried tomato bites

This is my second seitan recipe (my first was my vegan ‘pork’ and apple sausage rolls recipe) and it was one that I knew would be a hit as soon as I took my first taste! I originally tested the seitan recipe by making ten bites, and once I’d tried one immediately went back into the kitchen to make another twenty to take to a birthday gathering the next day. They went down well with omnis, veggies and vegans alike, so all in all I’d say that’s a good measure of success! The creamy roasted garlic dip really complements the flavour of the sundried tomato in the bites, but if you don’t have any garlic to hand these would also pair beautifully with some vegan mayonnaise.

baking, dessert, sweet

SALTED CARAMEL APPLE PIE (vegan)

vegan salted caramel apple pie recipe

I’m not usually fond of sweet and salty flavour combinations (don’t get me started on sweet and salty popcorn!) but with salted caramel it’s just right, you know? In fact, this is a flavour combination that pops up quite frequently when I’m making desserts (see my recipe for salted caramel pretzel cheesecakes).

This recipe makes two individual salted caramel apple pies (quite large individual portions, but aren’t those the best kind?!) and so if you want to make a standard sized pie you can just double up the recipe, although one pack of pastry might still do the job. Peeling the apples instead of chopping them allows the caramel sauce to permeate every part of the filling, so there’s no bite without that sweet and salty caramel flavour! The pies are best served with vegan ice cream – I recommend vanilla Swedish Glace with a drizzle of salted caramel sauce, if you have any left.

quick meals, savoury, side or starter, snacks

VEGAN RICOTTA CHEESE (vegan, gluten free)

vegan ricotta cheese recipe blog

However long you’ve been vegan, I can guarantee that you’ve heard the words “I would go vegan, but I could never give up cheese!” escape at least one person’s mouth. These days there are so many cheese alternatives for vegans that everyone is bound to find at least one they like, and most can easily be bought at your local supermarket. However, the one cheese I’ve not found available to buy is vegan ricotta cheese.

This recipe for vegan ricotta cheese takes one vegan staple food – tofu – and turns it into a delicious vegan cheese ready for use in any recipe you want. As with ‘regular’ ricotta cheese, this vegan version is extremely versatile as it doesn’t have an overpowering flavour. This means that although it can be eaten on its own on top of crackers, it also tastes great paired with any number of other flavours. My favourite way to eat vegan ricotta cheese is in a big baguette, topped with vine ripened tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and a sprinkle of black pepper.

The best thing about this recipe? It only takes 5 minutes and 5 ingredients (plus seasoning) to make!

aquafaba, baking, snacks, sweet

PISTACHIO CHOCOLATE COOKIE BITES (vegan)

pistachio chocolates recipe vegan

The natural sweetness of pistachio pairs really well with the slight bitterness of dark chocolate. For a while I had been testing recipes that combined these two flavours, but none of them were quite right until I tried this one. Don’t make the error I made – you can buy pistachios that are already shelled and skinned. I didn’t realise this until I’d tested the recipe several times and spent too many hours of my life shelling and skinning pistachios!

baking, side or starter

SUNDRIED TOMATO AND BLACK GARLIC BREAD (vegan)

sundried-tomato-and-black-garlic-bread-vegan-recipe2

I picked up some Balsajo black garlic at the London Animal Free Festival last year. I’d never heard of black garlic before, and had no idea how to use it, but I’m a sucker for new ingredients! Although I’ve now used it in recipes such as chilli and bolognese, I really wanted to use it in something that allowed the sweet, balsamicky flavour to really stand out. Here, I’ve paired the black garlic with tangy sundried tomatoes in a soft loaf of bread. Overall, bread-making does take a while, but the hands-on time for this recipe is only around 15 minutes, and proving the dough is essential for getting the perfect taste and texture. It’s a great recipe to try on a lazy Sunday and will set you up with bread for the rest of the week.

baking, snacks

CARROT MUFFINS WITH ORANGE GLAZE (vegan)

OK, a confession. Before I made these muffins, I’d only eaten carrot cake a handful of times. Usually when that cake craving hits, only chocolate cake will do. After making these, though, I feel my sweet tooth might branch out a little more! Here, the taste of traditional carrot cake pairs beautifully with the zing of citrus zest drizzled over the top.