Vegan cheesecakes – Pastelillos veganos de “queso”

Back in 2015 I was already playing with the idea of going on a vegan diet, although I guess I was not ready to take it full on until now. Celebrating 2 months vegan today and feeling sooo proud of myself 👏🏻 Luckily my photography is a bit better now.

Esther Amigo

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I have tried quite a few of this raw, healthy, vegan recipes lately and this cheesecakes really are not only easy to make, they are totally delicious without the guilt of a full fat full sugar desert.

Start by soaking 225g of raw cashews for a few hours (overnight) but if you are short of time soak in boiling water for one hour.

For the base you need 175g pitted dates previously soaked for 10 minutes and pulse in a food processor till crumbly. Set aside and pulse 100g raw walnuts until fine before adding the dates back and mixing to firm a sticky ball.

Grease and line a cupcake tin and press the mixture in. Put in the freezer to set while you make the filling.

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By putting some strips of baking paper on the tray it is easier to get the cakes out once they are ready!

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North African Stew

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Super warming vegan stew perfect for this wet autumnal days we are having right now in London.

Serve with couscous or rice and top with toasted almonds and mint before serving

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Vegan Lasagne

I have only recently started eating a plant-based diet. My reason was mainly health (I had a bit of a scare) and what started being a week’s trial is going to be 4 weeks in a few days. I feel better and I have lost some weight without even trying. And to be honest I am really enjoying it.

So a good reason to pick up the blog after 3 years… WHAT?

Here’s my brief recipe for the lasagne I made yesterday, please feel free to email or instagram me with any questions.

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Vegan Lasagne

For the tomato ‘Meaty” sauce:

Cook together olive oil, 200 g soya mince (I like to add it first to crisp it up a bit), 1/2 onion chopped, 3 cloves garlic chopped, 1 stick of celery chopped, 2 small carrots grated, 1 punnet of mushrooms chopped, 1 veg stock cube, 2 tbsp tomato pure, 1 tin chopped tomatoes, 1 small passata tomatoes carton, 1 tbsp brown rice miso, 1tsp dried oregano, a few drops vegan Worcestershire sauce, black pepper.

For the cauliflower bechamel: 1/2 onion chopped and cooked slightly in olive oil, add florets of 1 cauliflower, veg stock and some plant milk and cook till tender. Blend with enough liquid to make a bechamel consistency and add Yeast flakes for a slightly cheesy taste. first layer bechamel, then the tomato ‘meaty sauce’, vegan parmesan, layers of lasagne (I use Barilla no pre cooking).

Repite 5 times to finish with bechamel and a sprinkle of parmesan and bake for 20 minutes at 200 or 180 fan oven.

 

Biona does a great organic vegan Worcester Sauce that is gluten free too.

 

 

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Pumpkin Season

img_0422As Christmas is getting closer I am really keen to see the pumpkins I ordered last month from my organic delivery box put to good use.

SOUP

The best and simplest way to cook it is roasting it and making soup by blending it with some vegetable stock.

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Roast with onion and garlic, salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil

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An every day soup with lots of crispy bacon and bread rolls

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The posh way! Served in shot glasses with crispy skin

PARTY

Cut some pumpkin or butternut squash into even squares before gently roasting

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Save the odd bits for a soup or stew

With thanks to  Milli Taylor for the recipe in her great book “Party-Perfect Bites”

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They make the best canapés with some cooked chorizo and fresh coriander leaves

WINTER WARMER

Loving all the different colour pumpkins available and they are so sweet!!!

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Empty and remove seeds and a bit of flesh

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Fill with cream, celery leaves, garlic, lemon juice, thyme, nutmeg, salt and pepper

Cover with foil and bake until soft. Mine took about 1 hour at 180 on a fan assisted oven. Add any cheese you like and bake for another 10/15 minutes without the foil. I used a mix of gruyere and cheddar.

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Served with toasted bread

MUFFINS

A friend asked me if I had a recipe for pumpkin cupcakes and to be honest I had never baked some before. I had a read through several recipes I did have and I made my own version by replacing the butter for olive oil and adding some orange juice.

100ml olive oil
175g light muscovado sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g grated pumpkin
100g sultanas
grated zest and juice of 1 orange
2 tsp ground cinnamon
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases. Pour the oil into a large bowl and add the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Beat together, then add the grated pumpkin, sultanas and orange zest and juice.
Stir in the cinnamon, flour and bicarbonate of soda, the mixture will be very wet. Spoon into the cases. Bake for 25 mins 180C/160C fan.

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Cream cheese and icing sugar frosting

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Crispy sugar nuts are litteraly the icing on the cake

…to be continued…

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Scotch eggs a la española

A Spanish twist on the traditional scotch egg by using chorizo and piquillo peppers with the sausage meat. A delicious and tasty small bite as I made them with quail egg so they are smaller and  perfect for a picnic or a party.

To make 12 eggs you will need:

12 quail eggs, boiled and peeled
1 packet of good quality sausages, skin removed
1 small chorizo sausage
3/4 piquillo peppers from a jar
Handful of parsley
Plain flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs to cover 
Oil for frying
IMG_8497 TIP: Cook the eggs only 2/3 minutes to keep the yolk runny

In a food processor mix the chorizo sausage, skin removed and chopped, the sausage  meat, the piquillo peppers and the parsley until well combined.

Cover each egg with some of the sausage meat and refrigerate for 1 hour to make it easier to handle.

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Set the plain flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs in three separate plates and cover  each egg, first in flour, then egg and finally the breadcrumbs before frying in plenty of oil.

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Delicious hot or cold!

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Delicious Home Baked Granola

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Once you taste this delicious homemade granola I guarantee you the shop bought ones will not taste as good!

I do the weighing by hand/eye/taste so you can add more or less of your favourite ingredients.

To make a big jar you will need,

2 large handfuls of oats
1 large handful of walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts (mixed or just choose one)
Small handfuls of almonds

Pulse the above ingredients for 30 seconds on a food processor, you don’t want them too fine.
Then on a large bowl mix them with,

1 large handful of pumpkin seeds
1 large handful if sunflower seeds
Small handful flaxseeds
And melted coconut oil and maple syrup to taste and the mixture is sticky.

Bake on a lined oven tray for about 40 minutes stirring occasionally to toast it evenly.

Once cool mix in,

1 Handful raisins, sultanas, goji berries, cocoa nibs, coconut flakes or any other bits you make like.

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Store in a container and enjoy for breakfast or snack any time of day

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My favourite breakfast right now 😋

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Mango Lassi Smoothie Breakfast

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Back from a weeks holiday and although I have been able to eat quite well the thing of being at home I miss the most is my morning smoothies.

I bought a box of 6 lovely sweet mangoes from my local supermarket so a lot of my meals will have a bit of it on the next few days, if the kids don’t eat them first, that is!!

To serve 2 simply add to your blender (I use a Vitamix):

1 mango, chopped
1 small frozen banana
1 small pot natural yogurt (I like the Yeo Valley organic)
Juice of 1 lemon
And to your taste honey, fresh grated ginger, vanilla essence and turmeric

Blend till smooth and add some filtered water if you find it too thick. It tastes lovely with some coconut water too.

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Best snack EVER on sunny days!!

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