Friday, 8 April 2011

Chocolate and nut balls-vegan

Although not made with raw cocoa (cacao), these sweets are uncooked apart from that. They have quite a strong chocolatey flaviur. This recipe makes 8 sweets.

20 dried dates, stoned and chopped
150g hazelnuts
50g cashews
2 1/2 level tabs cocoa powder
1 tab agave nectar
desiccated coconut for rolling
  • Whizz up the dates in a blender/ grinder with a little water
  • Mix with the remaining ingredients
  • Form into balls and roll in coconut (the sweets, that is, not you :) )

Butterbean and sundried tomato pate- vegan

The following recipe is one I have often made as a sandwich filling with alfalfa sprouts/ mixed sprouts. Today I made what I believe is the ultimate sandwich with it- please try it and use the comments box to tell me what you think! I spread the pate on pumpernickel bread, added wild rocket and alfalfa with tomato slices and olives... and then I spotted some leftover roasted pumpkin from the night before; I spread this on too- what a combination! I will definitely be trying more ways to use pumpkin as a spread because the sweet roasted flavour and smooth texture is just perfect.
Here's the pate recipe:
400g cooked butterbeans
1 tsp tomato puree
8 sundried tomato halves in sunflower oil
a dash of lemon juice
a dash of tamari sauce/ liquid aminos
salt, black pepper, dried herbs and hing to taste
  • Mash the beans thoroughly (I always use a good old-fashioned potato masher)
  • Chop the sundried tomatoes finely
  • Add all the other ingredients and mix well

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Fresh Green Salad- organic homegrown leaves

Last Monday we had the first salad leaves from our polytunnel: wild rocket, purple rocket and red mustard greens. I did not want to swamp them with dressing, and at the same time I felt that the evening was too chilly for loads of watery cucumber and fresh tomato, so I decided just to rinse and tear them and add the minimum of extra ingredients...
I added alfalfa sprouts, strips of sundried tomato in oil and some whole pitted black olives. The result: a vibrant, crunchy and tangy living food experience!
I served this salad garnished with avocado slices, as the accompaniment to three-bean vegetable crumble, along with some steamed new potatoes.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Carob Party Cake- vegan and sugar free

I made this moist and fluffy cake yesterday for a friend's birthday. It is big- makes 24 small portions or probably about 20 larger ones. Our friend chose carob instead of chocolate for its natural sweetness and the fact that it does not contain even a trace of caffeine. I used 3 different sweeteners: mainly dates, with a little agave nectar, and maple syrup for the filling and icing. Maple syrup is actually about 63% sucrose, so is maybe a little bit "naughty" for those of you who are avoiding sugar, but at least it's natural. I went shopping for healthier oils and found rice bran oil; it is very light, chloresterol-free, high in vitamin E, antioxidants and plant sterols. It does not produce trans-fats when heated, like most other oils. You could decorate this cake with any fruit which looks good cut, like strawberries or starfruit (carambolas)- I just happened to have kiwis to hand.
800g s-r flour
8 tabs baking powder
5 tabs carob powder
2 tsps vanilla essence
800ml soya milk
300ml rice bran oil (or you could use organic sunflower oil )
300g stoned dried dates, finely chopped with 150ml water and 100ml agave nectar
  • Prepare the dates by simmering to a paste in the water, mashing until they are quite smooth, then stir in the agave and vanilla.
  • Mix the flour and baking powder in a large bowl
  • Combine the oil and soya milk, and add to the dry ingredients 
  • Mix in the date/ agave paste and beat well for about 2 minutes.
  • Put into 2 greased and lined (or silicone) 26cm/101/4" round cake tins and bake in a preheated oven  at 180C for 1/2 an hour, or until a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean.
Filling/ icing:
8 level tabs tahini
8 level tabs maple syrup
2 level tabs carob powder
a little desiccated coconut for sprinkling
thinly sliced fruit

  • Mix all ingredients together except the coconut and sliced fruit 
  • Fill and cover the cake, then decorate with fruit and coconut.