I’ve used vital wheat gluten* to make seitan a few times before in recipes for the blog (see my ‘pork’ and apple sausage rolls recipe and my seitan and sundried tomato bites recipe) but this time round I decided to mix it with tofu to make a vegan ‘chicken’ based dish. The result was this vegan popcorn chicken recipe – the tofu and vital wheat gluten work well together in creating the perfect texture for the vegan chicken, and coated in the delicious breadcrumb mix it’s hard to distinguish from what I remember ‘real’ or non-vegan popcorn chicken tasting like.
If you’re not a fan of deep frying, you can always bake these in the oven instead – I’d recommend cooking them with a drizzle of oil for around 20 minutes at 200 degrees celcius.
Today’s recipe is another vegan ricotta and sundried tomato recipe (see my previous recipe for vegan ricotta and sundried tomato ravioli), but this time with the addition of my favourite herb, basil. I’ve tested this recipe with both dried basil and fresh basil, and this time dried basil won due to the more intense flavour. If, however, you find yourself with no dried basil, you can sub the dried basil for a large handful of fresh basil (finely chopped). It still tastes great that way, I just preferred the flavour with the dried.
Pinwheels are a favourite snack of mine because I love puff pastry (although not enough to attempt making my own yet!). Pinwheels are also really quick and easy to make which is great, because when I want a snack I want it as soon as possible! As well as making a great snack on their own, these pinwheels are great paired with a salad for a light lunch, or as a side to a tomato soup if you fancy a change from bread.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Continuing the savoury christmas recipes theme from a few weeks ago (see my mushroom, lentil and walnut wellington with cranberry sauce recipe here), my latest recipe is these savoury scone-like sage, onion and cranberry bites. Sage and onion is the typical stuffing recipe you might have with your christmas roast, and paired with the sweetness of the cranberry sauce makes the perfect snack for over the christmas period.
I find that I there is always an abundance of sweet treats available over christmas (or any holiday season, really) and as someone who has a savoury tooth rather than a sweet tooth I try to make sure I have plenty of savoury christmas recipes to choose from at any one time!
These sage, onion and cranberry bites are great enjoyed straight out of the oven, but can also be stored in an airtight container and eaten cold for up to three days (if they last that long!).
300g plain flour
150g caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
150g vegan butter (melted)
3 tablespoons aquafaba*
50g dried cranberries
100g vegan white chocolate (chopped/ crushed into small pieces)
3/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Dash of oil
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
1/2 a red apple (peeled and chopped into small pieces)
1 pack puff pastry
4 tablespoons aquafaba* (or sub melted vegan butter or soy milk)
*Aquafaba is the liquid from a can of chickpeas.