Sunday, 23 July 2017

Wellaby's Simple Bakes

A little while ago, I was sent some samples of the new "Simple Bakes" snacks by Wellaby's to review. They kindly sent over three flavours - Tasty & Tangy Spicy Chilli, Pinch of Salt & Pepper, and Smoky BBQ.


Simple Bakes are wholegrain snacks which are free from most common allergens, including gluten, nuts, dairy, and eggs. They also come with the Vegan Society logo on the packet which is always reassuring when buying vegan snacks! The Smoky BBQ flavour even won Silver at the FreeFrom Food Awards earlier this year!


They were all really tasty, and had a great texture. I particularly liked the Smoky BBQ, while Mr Hatter was most partial to the Salt & Pepper. They fell somewhere between a cracker and a crisp, and would be a great healthier substitute for a packet of crisps. In fact, we took some to work in our lunchboxes!


I would definitely buy these if I was on the lookout for a good, crunchy snack - and they get bonus points for being gluten free, so everyone can enjoy them!


Tuesday, 11 July 2017

"Guilt Free Dark Chocolate Cake" - Veganised!



I was sent a chocolate cake recipe in honour of World Chocolate Day (which was on Friday), and asked if I wanted to share the recipe on my blog. Unfortunately, it wasn't a vegan recipe - but they agreed to let me veganise it!


This recipe was originally written by Head Pastry Chef Ellen de Jager-Smith at Michelin Starred Bohemia, and the only non-vegan ingredient was eggs! I swapped the eggs for a combination of ground flax seed and aquafaba, which resulted in a rather dense cake - think lovely brownie texture! I imagine that the original cake was much lighter, and if I had remembered to chill my aquafaba in advance, I think this cake would also have been lighter! That being said, I was really pleased with the cake as it turned out so I will leave it up to you whether to try this with chilled or room temperature aquafaba.


I must note that although this cake is titled "guilt free" it still packs a pretty big calorie punch. The ingredients are all healthy, which is great, but I ended up halving the icing because a) I wanted to make it a bit more waistline-friendly, and b) there was just so much of it!

This cake made me realise that I really really need to upgrade my blender - it struggled to get those dates smooth!

Also, make sure that you use good quality chocolate in this recipe, as that is where most of your flavour will be coming from! It's worth spending the extra bit of money to get some good chocolate.



Michelin Starred Bohemia’s Guilt Free Dark Chocolate Cake
(Adapted from the recipe by Head Pastry Chef Ellen de Jager-Smith at Michelin Starred Bohemia)

Head Pastry Chef Ellen de Jager-Smith at Michelin Starred Bohemia has shared her recipe for her delicious, healthy, gluten-free chocolate cake - which includes no cream, butter or sugar!

Serves 10

For the cake:

20g Ground flax seed
125g Aquafaba
100g Ground almonds
45g Cocoa powder
5g Baking soda
5g Gluten free baking powder
140g Maple syrup
200g Almond milk
200g Pitted dates (soaked in water if your blender isn't that powerful)
50g Grated courgette
200g Olive oil
150g Dark Chocolate

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a 10" cake tin with parchment paper.
2. Whisk together the ground flax seed and aquafaba. Set aside.
3. Sieve all of the dry ingredients together.
4. Add the maple syrup to the flax seed mixture.
5. Blend the almond milk, dates, grated courgettes and olive oil together
6. Melt the dark chocolate either in the microwave, or in a small bowl over a saucepan of boiling water.
7. Add the flax seed mixture to the dry ingredients and mix to create a smooth batter.
8. Fold the almond milk mixture carefully into the batter and pour in the dark chocolate.
9. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
10. Bake for around 50 minutes.

For the Chocolate, Avocado and Date Icing:

1 Avocados
125g Pitted dates (soaked in water if your blender isn't that powerful)
7.5g Cocoa powder
30g Maple syrup
175g Almond milk
A pinch of salt
200g Melted dark chocolate

1. Blend everything (except the dark chocolate) in a food processor.
2. Add the dark chocolate carefully whilst blending.
3. Decorate as you please.


Thursday, 6 July 2017

Purple Smoothie Bowl

With our recent health and fitness kick, we have been drinking a lot of protein smoothies, and thinking up new ways to enjoy our protein powders. Smoothie bowls are a great way to do this!


We have recently discovered Vegavero protein powder, which actually tastes great even just mixed with water. It's definitely a huge improvement on the previous unflavoured powder we were using! Vegavero comes in chocolate or vanilla, and I would recommend both. We currently have both in our kitchen and use them with a range of different add-ins! I don't think they're available in shops yet but you can find them on Amazon - just search for Vegavero.


We need to order some more!
This purple smoothie bowl is super easy to throw together post-workout, and also satisfies any sweet cravings you may have. In fact, it is so simple I feel like I'm cheating calling it a recipe!

Purple Smoothie Bowl

30g Vegavero Vanilla Protein Powder
200ml cold water
125g frozen blueberries
125g frozen blackberries
Granola

In a blender or food processor, blend together the protein powder, water, and frozen berries until smooth. Pour into a bowl. Sprinkle with your favourite toppings - the smoothie bowl pictured is topped with homemade granola.

NOTES:

Feel free to add more water if you want to turn this into a drinkable smoothie, rather than a spoonable smoothie bowl.

You can add any toppings you fancy, it doesn't have to be granola! You could try sliced banana, chopped nuts, fresh berries...

You can swap the water for plant based milk if you want it to be creamier, but in my opinion it is fine with water!

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Pictures...

Hi Everyone

This is a super quick post to let you know that I'm aware that none of my pictures are currently working... Photobucket decided to block all links to my photos unless I pay them $400 a year to host. Which is a big fat NOPE.

I'm looking at other options, maybe just moving them all onto blogger for now, so if anyone out there has any suggestions, I'm all ears!

Hopefully it will all be back on track later this week...

Current mood: sulky kitty.


Saturday, 1 July 2017

MOG'S - Awesome vegan junk food near Kirkstall Abbey

Today we trekked over to Leeds to get one of the airbags in the car replaced (due to a recall) - fun stuff. But we thought we may as well make the most of it and go for a wander around Kirkstall Abbey while we were there. Aaaaand, Kirkstall Abbey just happens to be a ten minute walk away from MOG'S, so of course we couldn't leave without sampling some of their vegan junk food...

I've been following MOG'S on social media for ages and drooling over all the lovely vegan photos, so I jumped at the chance to go. (Seriously, go follow their Instagram account - it's awesome.)

I chose the Korean Sticky BBQ Beef Sub with a side of Mac n Cheese, and Mr Hatter had the Double Cheeseburger Box Meal, and upgraded the fries to be Chilli Cheese Fries. AND we shared a portion of Deep Fried Oreos for afters!

Korean Sticky BBQ Beef Sub
Sticky BBQ beef pieces with coriander garlic mayo, pickled cabbage, sesame seeds & salad


This was brilliant - everything I wanted from an early-lunchtime-sammich. Filling, tasty, great texture, and the sauce was gorgeous!

Mac & Cheese


This was tasty, very creamy - so glad I chose mac and cheese instead of chips!

Double Cheeseburger
Two beef burgers topped with melted cheese, pickles & fried onions
Served with fries [upgraded to Chilli Cheese Fries] & coleslaw


Mr Hatter really enjoyed this - apparently "the pickles made it"!

Deep Fried Oreos



HOLY MOLY these were good. I was prepared for them to be a bit too much, but they were like little donuts with a soft oreo filling. YUM! I am glad that we shared a portion though!


This food was fantastic. Like, seriously good. The box meal Mr Hatter had was great vegan junk food, and my sub was just a straight up lovely sammich. None of it was particularly greasy - even the deep fried oreos! If we lived closer, I could see this being a regular take away joint for us... so it's probably a good thing that we live where we do!

This trip was made doubly special because we've been on a healthy eating drive for the past 4 weeks and decided it was time for a cheat day. I think we picked the perfect place! (Full disclosure, we did go for a walk down the River Aire afterwards to try to walk some of it off!)



If you do go, be on the lookout as it's only small - we almost walked past it! Also, be aware that there isn't much space to eat in - we ate at the only table (3 chairs), an then there was a sort of bar seating area with two chairs, and another two chairs in the waiting area. So be prepared that you might have to get it to go! Also, they do serve meat as well, and due to the small nature of the cafe you can smell it if they're cooking it while you're in there. But you could always wait outside if that's an issue.

Here are a few photos from our wander around Kirkstall Abbey - it's very pretty and had brightened up considerably by the time we left!