Thursday, July 21, 2016

Mediterranean pasta salad with tofu

We have had a few cold dinners this week, on account of some hot summer days and overly warm summer nights. The nice thing about England is that, generally, the hot weather doesn't last for weeks on end like it does in Australia. The flip side is that air conditioning isn't common here, so when it is hot, you are hot.

For those of you in the northern hemisphere, this Mediterranean pasta salad is perfect for summer nights, barbecues or picnics. It's easy to make ahead and then serve cold. For those of you in the southern hemisphere, I imagine it could work as a warm pasta dish too.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Apple pudding slice

To my amazement, our apple tree is already producing apples. I'm sure it wasn't meant to for another 2 years (we planted it at the end of last year), but the current fruit is a precursor to the apples it will produce in time. We have a 'Scrumptious' tree and it should produce red, sweet-crisp apples of a moderate size. These initial fruit are green, tart and small - not so good for eating plain, but perfect for baking with.

I have lots of apple baking recipes already but still like to experiment with new ones. I made this slice after a day out and about with my parents, and wanted something that would come together in a single bowl with no electric beating necessary. Consequently, this is an easy recipe to make.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Mint and paprika butter bean salad

I would struggle to nominate a single favourite legume, but butter beans would definitely make a top 5 list. They're a large, cream-coloured variant of the lima bean and I love their soft, fluffy texture. This salad allows their texture and flavour to shine whilst throwing in some other classic summer ingredients: corn, tomatoes and mint.

I made this salad during the week, as part of a meal to welcome my parents. They have been in the UK (from Australia) for a couple of weeks now but arrived at our place mid-week. It's been great to show them our new home and the local area, and of course to catch up on family and Australian news.

When I made the salad I served it with various other meal components, including boiled baby potatoes. These pictures show the leftover beans and potatoes in a single dish and as they paired very well together I would readily recommend the mix. Otherwise, the bean salad could be added to a wrap, served with greens or paired with a grain base of choice.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Chocolate stewed fruit and raisins

It seems I'm having a chocolate themed week, albeit with quite different chocolate posts. Whilst my last recipe was for a rich and decadent pudding, this one caters to breakfast as easily as dessert. It is a great option if you have apples or pears a little past their best.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Vegan chocolate peanut butter mousse

After loving the effect of silken tofu in chocolate malt pie, I knew it wouldn't be long before I made another dessert with it. And, just 3 weeks later, here it is. This mousse is silky smooth, rich, satisfying, and a harmonious mix of chocolate and peanut butter tones. The mousse is not as firm as the pie filling (that incorporated coconut oil), but still holds its own on a spoon. Basically, it is a chocolate peanut butter cup in mousse form and I liked it very much.

I added some of my recently discovered peanut butter powder to give the peanut butter flavour, but you could use regular peanut butter if needed. There are also a few options for sweetening this. I used carob fruit syrup, which is another new discovery for me. It is made from fruits of the carob flower and has a neutral taste. Other options include agave, rice malt syrup or maple syrup, although the latter two will add a little of their distinctive flavour.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Spicy + smoky tofu open sandwich

When putting together my recent picnic ideas post, I was reminded of how much more creative I could be with vegan sandwiches. Basically, I rarely make them and when I lived in Australia I wasn't very fussed about having them. However, London offers quite a few vegan sandwich options (from Pret A Manger varieties, to the Laura's Idea range in Whole Foods, to lots of hummus-based wraps) and so I have developed more of an affection for sandwich lunches. This post features one I made recently, albeit with so much filling I had to make it an open faced variety!