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This Is The Ultimate Way To Prepare Onions

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Read this post to revolutionise the way you cook dinner. This will save you some serious time.

Here's how one woman made short work of onions. It all started with that ubiquitous and time-consuming recipe directive: First, caramelise an onion...

By 'one woman', I do, of course, mean me. And by 'caramelise an onion' I mean that thing I seem to have to do at the beginning of every home-cooked main meal or soup. Is there any savoury dish that doesn't benefit from the initial frying of an onion?

Unfortunately, peeling, chopping and carefully browning an onion takes time. It can add at least 15 minutes to the start of any cooking process. That could sometimes be enough to put me off cooking from scratch, especially if I was in a rush. Until now.

Make This Amazing Stir-Fry In No Time

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If you want to eat healthily, economically and cater to all the fusspots different tastes in your family, well, it's hard.

I think the only sensible way to approach family meals is:
a) home cooking from scratch (ready-meals are too yucky, too small and too expensive) and
b) advance planning (not something that comes naturally to me but pretty much essential if you're going to do (a) without going mad. Unless you like spending hours in the kitchen everyday. No?)

Flapjacks - Plant-based, vegan, oil recipe

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Why wouldn't a flapjack be vegan?

I was recently in a cafe asking for vegan options and they (rather lamely, I'm afraid to say) told me that they had sold out of vegan biscuits. They'd had some in but they'd sold out. They never knew how many vegan things to order, they said. Shrug. What's a cafe to do?!*
*A cafe can sell 'mainstream' food that just happens to be vegan. Win:win.

But they were selling flapjacks. Flapjacks that could so easily have been plant-based.

You don't have to use (relatively expensive) butter to make flapjacks. Oil is more economical and works perfectly fine.


Nobody would know the difference. These flapjacks are as delicious as any buttery ones I've ever tasted. It's not as if vegans require a separate, segregated menu. A flapjack that pleases one person will please another, provided you haven't gone and stuck unnecessary dairy products in it.

And oil is so easy to use: it's already liquid. There's no pesky me…

Vegan Quiche That Everyone Will Love

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Quiche, how I missed you!

Embarking on a whole-food plant-based diet can mean going without foods you love and having to invent meals to replace those once-staple favourites.

Quiche: delicious served hot or cold, great the next day, perfect for picnics, versatile enough to be flavoured differently every time...

What's a vegan to do?

You know I hate replacement pseudo-foods, fake cheese, pretend bacon and ingredients processed beyond recognition, don't you? That's what the 'whole-food plant-based' thing is all about. I wanted to make quiche that was tasty and satisfying, without any complicated, expensive ingredients: just the simplest whole foods.

And I wanted to serve it to meat-eaters. Jus' sayin'.


First, the pastry.

No psuedo-butter or vegan what-the-heck-is-that 'spread' here. The pastry had to be made from wholewheat flour and vegetable oil. I tried various recipes and eventually found a really simple shortcrust pastry recipe that is quick to …

Chocolate Vegan Birthday Celebration Cake - Recipe with Oil

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This chocolate cake tastes as good as it looks. It's made entirely from plant-based ingredients: no nasties in here.

Rest assured, there is no butter and no horrible margarine/spread butter-replacement. This recipe uses vegetable oil.

And no eggs, of course. No complicated egg-replacer either. No egg-substitute at all. Just a sponge made from flour, plant milk, sugar and oil. Simple ingredients that are entirely in harmony with the whole-food plant-based diet.

Yet there's nothing ascetic about it: no self-denial, no compromise on flavour or texture. I find myself needing to use the word 'sumptuous'.

I made this sumptuous* cake for my husband's birthday and nobody could tell that it was vegan. It was wolfed down as fast as any other cake; enjoyed as much as any buttery, eggy Victoria sponge.
*There, I used it again!

My daughter wanted me to make the same cake for her birthday too. I made hers oblong, but it was the same recipe.

You will love how simple it is to make…

Leafy Green Herby Dough Balls

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Herby, fragrant fresh bread, anyone?

These leafy dough balls can be ready in under half an hour and you don't need any special bread-baking skills to make them.

With just a few, basic ingredients and a bit of imagination, you can make these dough balls into a triumph of Daily-Dozening (technical term.)

This is bread bursting full of goodness - here we have greens, herbs, spices, wholegrain and even some ground flax seed if you wish.

You can take the basic dough ball mix and pack it full of Daily Dozen goodness.

In this case, we've got spinach and some dried marjoram to tick 'greens' off your Daily Dozen list. These dough balls are certainly green.



To make delicious homemade dough balls, get a large bowl and combine the ingredients:
500g wholemeal flour1 tsp dried instant yeast1 tsp salt330g water I also added some frozen/defrosted spinach, some marjoram, some ground flax seed and some turmeric.
At this stage, you can get creative, adding nuts, seeds, oats, herbs, spice…

Spicy vegan cakes muffins - No egg, no butter no spread

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Cake recipes: If you're thinking of fluffy, sweet little buns that you could confidently offer to your non-vegan guests. Read on.

These cakes are made without butter (of course) and without any dodgy butter-substitute-spread things (I used vegetable oil). There's no egg-replacer either (not even flax eggs): just a few basic ingredients that you've probably already got in the cupboard. It's a reassuringly simple recipe using real ingredients.

There are loads of vegan cake recipes out there, ranging from the decidedly too-healthy (it's a cake! I don't want to chomp my way through a wholemeal brick!) to decidedly too weird (one had the oddest consistency; like a damp dishwashing sponge crossed with a jelly.) After you've tried a few permutations, it's tempting to give up and declare that you are vegan and cake, sadly, is not the same anymore.

But don't despair. Here, we have a cake recipe that doesn't require fake butter, fake eggs and trickery. T…

How To Measure A Portion

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Portion size.

This is probably something we all need to agree to disagree on. It's something you need to consider briefly and then not agonise over. Unless, of course, you have loads of time and love weighing out every gram of food you eat? No? Ok, stick with me then.

In a lot of your cooking, you'll be trying to tick things off you Daily Dozen list. That means you're trying to eat, for example, one of your portions of pulses or one of your portions of wholegrain, and so on.

But what counts as a portion?
Dr Greger gives some good guidance in the Daily Dozen app, suggesting how many grams constitutes one portion of each food type. The trouble is, it's too time-consuming to measure everything you eat. It takes the fun and adventure out of cooking.

What's all this Daily Dozen business?

If you want to cook without restraint, throwing caution to the wind and mixing ingredients with happy abandon, you'll need a quick way to gauge what counts as a portion.

I'd argue…

Blueberry and Apple Deliciousness - Vegan Breakfast Bowl

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As yummy breakfasts go, this ticks a lot of boxes.

Quick to prepare? Yep.

Delicious to eat? Of course. Life's too short for boring food.

Healthy? You bet. But not brown and bland. Definitely not brown and bland.

Whole-food plant-based? Isn't that what this is all about?!

Vegan? Yes yes yes!

Daily Dozen Boosting Breakfast (Or snack. Or supper...)

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Want a quick breakfast that's packed with good things? Looking for top-notch nutrition that's whole-food plant-based? Here's a simple way to kickstart your day.

If you're looking to tick four or five items off your Daily Dozen* checklist, first thing in the morning, this one's for you.
*Dr Greger's Daily Dozen info here.

My tasty, nutritious vegan, whole-food plant-based breakfast is as follows (per person):
1 tbs of milled flaxseed1/4 tsp ground turmeric1 portion of fruit1 portion of rolled oatsMilk or water to mixWhat do you mean, 'portion'?

That's it.
Really simple.

The fruit could be fresh, frozen or dried and could, of course, be anything you like. This morning's bowl (pictured) contained nectarine because that was in season. Blueberries are a particular favourite of mine too.

You can choose regular-sized porridge oats or jumbo oats. You could substitute a handful of puffed wheat, crumbled Weetabix or other high-fibre low-sugar cereal.

Obviou…