Vanilla Pomegranate Oatmeal Cookies

By July 2, 2014 Cookies, Oats, Pomegranate

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Vegan Vanilla and Pomegranate Oatmeal Cookies

As you’ve probably read before on this blog, I am just no good at cookies.

Cakes, yes. Cupcakes, absolutely. A good salad with a kick-ass dressing? You better believe it.

However, something about cookies just bewilders me. So when they turn out incredible, like these, it makes it all the more surprising to me.

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Almond and Coconut Butter Cherry Flapjack

By June 19, 2014 Almond butter, Cherries, Coconut Butter, Flour-free Baking, GF Desserts & Treats, Oats, Squares & Bars

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Coconut and Almond Butter Cherry Flapjacks

As I’m back home in the motherland, it seems only right that I should be baking some British classics – albeit with a bit of a twist!

Flapjack is, for me, a reminder of home. My mum makes the best flapjack in the world (IN THE WORLD I tell you!) and there’s always a cake tin full of it whenever anyone’s coming over. It’s all butter, sugar and golden syrup usually, although she has taken to making a vegan version because Putin and I love it so much (thanks, Mum!).

However, you know me. I can’t leave anything alone; everything needs to be spiced up a little! I’m currently in Edinburgh housesitting for my newlywed friends, and I noticed that I still had some almond butter and coconut butter left over in the fridge. These two seemed to be the perfect companion for oats and a little sweetener – and why not throw in the rest of the cherries that are sitting in the fruit bowl?

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Leek, Potato, Pea and Mint Soup

By June 3, 2014 Garlic, GF Mains, Leeks, Mint, Onion, Peas, Soups, Chillis and Casseroles

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Vegan Leek, Potato, Pea and Mint Soup

When I come back to the UK, I always tend to go back to more traditional recipes – mostly because my mum and dad’s kitchen is a lot more traditional than mine!

I still can’t help playing around with flavours, however, and this soup was made when I had a bunch of mint that I needed to use up. The peas – well, I would put peas in everything if I could. Peas are the miniature kings and queens of food.

It sounds strange at first but the subtle taste of the mint and the extra heartiness of the peas add a little more to this already fantastic soup. A new favourite in my house and a 30-minute week night dinner!

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Vegan Faux-Tuna and Avocado Collard Greens Wraps

By May 16, 2014 Avocado, Beans, Peas & Lentils, Carrot, Celery, Chick peas (garbanzo beans), GF Mains, Onion, Tofu, Tempeh, Seitan & Faux Meats

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Vegan Faux-Tuna and Avocado Collard Greens Wraps

Before I was vegan, I used to love fish. I mean, I still do love fish – the smell of the sea, the freshness of the food – but I choose not to eat it for many reasons, a huge one being that the overfishing of our oceans is catastrophic, and many species of fish soon simply won’t exist.

However, it is true that I miss both the texture and the taste of flaked tuna. I ate a lot of it when I was younger, and I loved it. I’ve been lucky in that Putin has been making a lot of The Post Punk Kitchen’s faux-tuna salad a lot as he thinks that it’s wonderful, but for me, there’s not enough of a fishy taste in the recipe, and I hate vegan mayo.

So I did what I had to do: I made my own recipe.

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Strawberry Vegan Cranachan

By May 13, 2014 Coconut milk, GF Desserts & Treats, Puddings & Sundaes, Raspberries, Strawberries, Whiskey

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Vegan Strawberry Cranachan

You might never have heard of cranachan before. That’s okay; this is a uniquely Scottish dessert, and despite being from the north of England I’m not even sure that I pronounce the name of this correctly. Is it cran-a-chan? Cra-nacken? Who knows.

Anyway, the name doesn’t matter. What does matter is the content: thick, airy whipped cream with whisky and tart fruit. A stream of sweetener running throughout. The subtle crunch of toasted oats, and a general sense that this dessert embodies the true spirit of Scotland.

Of course, I can’t leave anything alone, and in veganizing this it has, of course, changed a little. The whipped cream is whipped coconut cream in this version. The honey is replaced by agave. My oats are toasted with ground cinnamon and ginger, and instead of the traditional raspberries, I’ve used strawberries – although, to be honest, this is because I simply couldn’t get raspberries in Panama. I would probably use raspberries given the chance.

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Harissa Chickpeas with Eggplant and Basil

By May 12, 2014 Beans, Peas & Lentils, Chick peas (garbanzo beans), Eggplant, GF Mains, Gluten-free, Salads, Sugar-free, Tomatoes

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Harissa Chickpeas with Eggplant and Basil

I’ve just finished devouring the wonderful Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater. If you’re not aware of him, Nigel is a British chef known for his love of simple, high-quality ingredients and recipes that don’t have more than a few compoments.

This book has really helped to change my attitudes towards food, and I’ve been very inspired by his manner of cooking and loving food. This is a recipe inspired by him!

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Smoky Aji Chombo Harissa Paste

By May 7, 2014 Sauces & Salsas, Sauces, Marinades & Pastes

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Harissa Paste

Harissa paste is a Tunisian chilli paste, although you can also find it in the cuisines of Morocco, Libya and Algeria. Its intense, hot flavour is thanks to hot chilli peppers; usually Serrano chillies are used, but you can use whatever hot red pepper you like. In this recipe, I’ve used aji chombo chillies, as these are very common in Panama and are hot as you’d like. These are also known as scotch bonnets, or yellow lantern chillies despite the fact that they can come in both yellow-orange and red varieties.

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Vegan Coffee Choc Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

By May 5, 2014 Chocolate, Coconut milk, Coffee, GF Desserts & Treats, Ice Cream

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Vegan Coffee Choc Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Cookie dough ice cream is my ultimate indulgence. When I was a teenager, my friend Sarah and I would go to the shopping centre in Sheffield, Meadowhall, every Saturday and eat jacket potatoes with beans and feel superior to all the people shoving McDonald’s burgers down their throats. We would then go to Baskin Robbins and order cookie dough milkshakes which probably contained more calories than a McDonald’s family meal, but somehow our sense of superiority survived in tact. My teens years were an interesting time.

I think I’d vomit if I tried to drink an entire cookie dough milk shake these days, but still the lure of those delicious little oases of dough in a thick, creamy ice cream drags me in every now and again. At least, I reason, I know exactly what’s in it when I make it myself.

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Pear, Radish and Rocket (Arugula) Salad

By April 30, 2014 Balsamic vinegar, Cashews, Flavour Pairings, GF Mains, GF Sides, Gluten-free, Pear, Radish, Rocket (arugula), Salads, Seeds, Side Dishes, Sunflower seeds

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Pear, Radish and Rocket Salad

There’s nothing I like more than a cooking day with a good friend, especially when it’s hot outside and the camera is fired up and ready. Last weekend I took a bunch of random ingredients around to the kitchen of my great friend Catriona White, of MiniHaha Gourmet fame – and random they certainly were.

Randomness and chance go hand-in-hand, and sometimes it’s only by having a random collection of ingredients that you, by chance, come upon a wonderful recipe. This salad is absolutely, astonishingly good, with its delicate flavours and complimentary textures. The mandolin definitely made this healthy salad recipe a lot more impressive, given the sheer and beautiful slices that the mandolin allows, but if you can only slice these thinly, the salad won’t lose any of its clout. In fact, you could just go for chunky slices and it would still be fantastic.

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Sticky Orange Tofu with Sesame Bok Choi Noodles

By April 28, 2014 Flavour Pairings, GF Mains, Rice & Noodles, Tofu, Tempeh, Seitan & Faux Meats

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Sticky Orange and Ginger Tofu

When I think of good Chinese food, I think of sticky sauces and fresh noodles with crisp veggies. I think of subtle and not-so-subtle flavours, of greens and bright peppers and simple but powerful flavours. I think of these, and I get pretty damn hungry.

Unfortunately, many Chinese places in the Western world rely on MSG-packed sauces to bring the stickiness and the flavour. To keep things speedy and cheap, they throw that horrible white powder in there to bring the sauce together and to imbue it with fake flavouring. It makes you think that you can’t produce something more authentic in your own kitchen – and the truth is that you can!

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